Early single ‘April’ is a driving and yearning track with pristine harmonies that on first listen brings to mind Tame Impala, but when the outstanding vocals arrive to accompany the adventurous instrumentals I knew this was a distinctly Local Natives track. Opener ‘Alpharetta’, named for a quiet town in Georgia, USA , was also released as a single. It has that Del Water Gap vibe to it, expertly stripped back, exploring the feeling of being on the threshold between an old and new life. The lifting lullaby is a great follow-on from the previous album as it continues the melancholic and calming aura which prevailed there, while extending and expanding on the themes previously introduced.

One of the album’s highlights, ‘Ending Credits’, places similar emphasis on reflection and apprehension from one life to another. It almost feels as though this should be the last track of the record due to the rich harmonic take on modern indie rock which the intro explores in the melodic piano and soothing vocals. Yet as the track continues, it’s clear the band are embracing the passing of time, this is not a “goodbye”, merely the acceptance of moving onto a new stage in life, hence the title. It’s around the two minute mark that the tempo quickens and the ethereal atmosphere is amplified, the excellent layered vocals and arrangement increase the tension, the lyric “what happens when” is repeated until a moment of sublime diffusion, and the melancholy of the intro returns.

But I’ll Wait feels like a love song, but not in the traditional form. It’s a love song to the band and their success. It’s a culmination of nearly two decades of brotherhood, and a mantra of reassurance in response to relentless changes. The band exhibit old and new sounds through the delicate production of producers of John Congleton (Angel Olsen), Michael Harris (Lana Del Rey) and Danny Reisch (Sun June).

Along with ‘Ending Credits’, the other album highlight is ‘Camera Shy’, which holds a similar ethereal vibe but is upbeat and unapologetically vulnerable. What makes it for me is the groove in the riffs between verses. I haven’t really heard anything of this kind before which took me aback. The culmination of the experimental guitar work and the inspired lyricism is what wins it for me.

Local Natives have undoubtedly created a record that lives up to the precision and excellence of last year’s effort. The way the two records interact with each other yet have distinctive elements is simply another layer to what would be an excellent album regardless.