1) “You and I”
This song’s strength lies in its lyrics. It hits its stride on the chorus (When did your love, when did your love go cold? / The closer I get, the farther I have to go), and only improves from there. “You and I” is brimming with wails of anguish, but they don’t come off whiny; instead, they seem sincere and heartfelt.
2) “Heavy Feet”
An ode to summer, youth and unrealistic ideals, “Heavy Feet” relays the juxtaposition — and contradiction — of idealism and cynicism, something to which listeners can undoubtedly relate.
The band warns those “telling me how you’re going to outlive your body” that they may be “left in the sun, shivering.” The speckles of doubt bring the song down to earth.
The lyrics don’t take much figuring out (“Haven’t stopped your smoking yet / so I share your cigarette”; “thinking of what we’d give to have one more day of sun”), but they are sweet at the core, especially when they lead to the chorus of “all my silver dreams bring me to you.”
4) “Black Spot”
The first track on the album to move toward an upbeat tempo, “Three Months” keeps the album moving. This song probably would have been featured on the soundtrack to “Garden State” if it had been around in 2004.
“Breakers” is more generic sounding track, as if Muse and Beirut got together and fed its lovechild Xanax for breakfast. But if you’re into that sort of thing, then you probably won’t be able to get enough of it. The immediate sounding piano background melts with the vocals to create a dreamworld.
6) “Three Months”
A beautiful piano highlight, but it verges on sounding boring. It’s lulling, which is good if you’re looking for a way to fall asleep in a minute and a half. Otherwise, it leaves listeners looking for something more.
7) “Black Balloons”
The tempo is back up on this one, but it feels oddly familiar. That’s probably because it starts out sounding almost exactly like Bon Iver’s “Perth,” yet somehow speeds up crazily with those six notes still lingering in the background. Either way, it makes for an enjoyable song, even if it is unoriginal in parts.
8) “Wooly Mammoth”
A complaint and a cry for help all in one, “Wooly Mammoth” is one of the darker tracks on “Hummingbird.” Moving from sentiments of abandonment to asking for comfort, it emphasizes the vulnerability of the album.
9) “Mt. Washington”
Local Natives brought in The National’s Aaron Dessner to produce this album, and “Mt. Washington” echoes his influences. It’s reminiscent of tracks from The National’s “Boxer,” but still comes off holding its own.
Although solid for the most part, the album’s rough patches are almost instantly apparent; “Colombia” is one of these rough patches. It has no particular flow and blends together in a bad way. The group repeatedly asks “Am I loving enough?” to the point of being whiny and unlikeable.
The album closes on a strong note, with a heartfelt track with, the piano, drum and guitar parts perfectly meshing and melting to a grand finale. In fact, as a whole, the whole album feels like lying on your back on a sunny day, hazily watching clouds float by in the sky, maybe while eating cotton candy. Yeah, it’s pretty dreamy, but not in the mindless way. It seems to suggest life is but a dream for this group, and maybe that’s exactly what they were going for the whole time.