At the center of every album is a musical thesis. This thesis can be the driving force behind the album, a theme that interweaves songs together, or a feeling you are left with after the very last song plays. With some albums, the thesis is easy to find. On others, it is hidden and requires you to be more than a passive listener. These reviews aren’t about rating an album. Instead, it is about uncovering a musical thesis.
Local Natives fell into my lap. I don’t remember anyone suggesting them. I don’t remember hearing them on the radio. I don’t remember pulling their name from some magazine. One day they weren’t in my life. The next day they were standing at my doorstep. Uninvited, I let them in and couldn’t be happier that I did. Albums such as “Sunlit Youth” only reinforce my decision.
Pulling a thesis from this album was a challenge. It required me to focus and be present. Instead of a singular concept, I found a series of ideas that are brought together in one nice package. During my first listen of the album, I was struck by this idea of a sea of love; an expansive body where the borders aren’t clearly defined or visible but filled to the brim with everything you will ever need. The thought of this kind of love and support is a powerful symbol and something we should all want in our lives.
On my second listen, I was blindsided by this idea of supporting the generation following in your footsteps. As a millennial, my generation is often derided as selfish, immature, lazy, and entitled. Baby Boomers and Generation X love to point their fingers at us. What they don’t often talk about is how they are leaving the generation behind them a planet in worse shape than they found it. I think Local Natives realize this and want to change the conversation. Instead of putting down those following you, perhaps we can do everything in our power to build them up!
On my third and final listen to this album, I settled on this idea of facing the darkness present in your life as the ultimate string tying everything together. In the face of hatred, there is an expansive love. In the face of damning others, there is this idea of building others up. Instead of giving in to the darkness, there is light to be found. The sun and its radiant light are a powerful force. If we can mirror some of that light into the darkest places of our own lives, there is nothing we can’t do.
Be good to each other,
I've never asked readers for financial support before. I am committed to keeping content on this site free and open to all. For me, this means no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what I create, please consider making a contribution on Patreon.