Reviews

Local Natives and Sylvan Esso Add Light to the “Dark Days”

We love a new version of an older tune! LA alternative band Local Natives collaborated with techno-slow jam group Sylvan Esso on “Dark Days.” Two of my favorite bands! They performed together on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in early March, prior to the pandemic. The track is featured on LN’s full-length gem, Sunlit Youth, from 2016, but receives a great spin and new tone from singer Amelia Meath.

Local Natives came together in 2005, making their debut a few years later with the release of Gorilla Manor. They started to attract fans when performing nine shows at the 2009 SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Some tunes to check out include “Coins,” “Wide Eyes,” “Megaton Mile,” “Cafe Amarillo” and “When Am I Gonna Lose You.”

Pop duo Sylvan Esso formed in 2013, with Amelia on vocals and Nick Sanborn on production. Representing the spirit of their roots in Durham, NC, they incorporate emotion and liveliness in their folk/electronic style. Some of my favs would be “Coffee,” “Uncatena,” “Could I Be,” “The Glow,” “Kick Jump Twist” and “Just Dancing.” I saw them live in Brooklyn a few summers ago and they are incredible performers!

“Dark Days” pays tribute to the sun-filled days in southern California, where Matt Frazier, Nik Ewing, Ryan Hahn, Kelcey Ayer and Taylor Rice spend their time. The members shared in a press statement that it’s about “first love, sneaking out, and finding your way on your own.” It’s the perfect summer song for chilling at the beach or sitting by the bonfire.

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“Dark Days” with @sylvanesso out now!

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From the first few seconds, we’re along for the ride, as the band provides great jams. Soft drums and sublime techno beats are the first soundwaves we hear, before lead singers Taylor and Kelcey set the mood. They utilize different tempos and guitar strings.

Halfway through the track, Amelia’s velvet voice emerges, adding to the dreamy essence the song presents. Almost a whisper, her lyricism is captivating, as she contributes a new verse prior to the chorus. When the two forces join together, they create a rendition filled with nostalgia and lust for the good days. “It was a joy to dip into summertime with Local Natives,” added Meath. “‘Dark Days’ is a beautiful illustration of being young, riding bikes, and trying to figure out how to love on and be vulnerable with someone. It was an honor to be asked to write a new verse and lend my voice to the story.”

Check out the track here!

Featured Image: Loma Vista Recordings