LA’s Local Natives are touring in support of 2010’s Gorilla Manor, 12 upbeat indie gems bursting with incantatory vocal harmonies and propellant drums. Sonically, the band can look through both ends of binoculars: often, they’ll use their instruments to conjure a sense of vastness and space, but they can instantly bring things into razor-sharp focus with a killer hook. Though singer/keyboardist Kelcey Ayer has the vocal versatility of a front man like Jeff Buckley, he uses his gifts with restraint and poise that singer lacked.
Brooklyn NY’s Suckers turned heads with their debut EP (Suckers, 2009), which took listeners through varied territory—from angular, Talking Heads-esque grooves to swirling dream pop in the vein of Yeasayer. Throughout, most melodies are sung in chorus by different members of the band, making them sound like a group of rock monks joyfully reciting ancient, well-loved words. You’ll want to sing along.