ALBUM REVIEW: Local Natives’ ‘Time Will Wait For No One’

L.A. indie-rock band Local Natives embrace growing older despite all of its complexities on their fifth album, Time Will Wait For No One, released under LomaVista on July 7, 2023. After 15 years together as a band, they’ve learned to understand the constant change of life and identity. Following their 2019 album, Violet Street, Local Natives returns to their comforting indie-rock sound with a clearer focus on their lives. With this album, it seems as if the band were searching for an answer or remedy, while appreciating the beautiful moments.

The album opens with title track, “Time Will Wait For No One,” a slow acoustic that sets the melancholic tone for the rest of the 35 minute album. Following this brief track, the tempo picks up with “Just Before The Morning,” a lush Tame Impala-esque piece, and “Empty Mansions,” a tropical hi-fi sound. On songs such as “Desert Snow,” Local Natives’ earnest and honest lyricism shines through. “It’s falling through the cracks / Lost somewhere between / Where I was and wanna be now.”

The fifth track “Paper Lanterns” remains steady with its fresh synth production and layered vocals. Despite the vibrant synthscape, the lyrics: “Words escape my mind / Pass the tape, rewind / Replay every line” take on no new meaning as the song progresses, rather their message is hard to miss. Local Natives’ warm harmonies tumble into a melody on the pressures trend-chasing has on them as individuals and artists. Unlike some indie-rock bands, Local Natives realized they’re too far to chase after the latest trends leading to them fully embracing the future.

Local Natives - Paper Lanterns (Official Audio)

“Ava”, the eighth track, encapsulates the theme of searching with its slower tune yet it’s weighed down by its swell of emotion. The song serves as a companion to their 2019 track “When Am I Gonna Lose You” as both songs have a sense of heartbreaking urgency and remorse.  “Ava / How do I reach you? / On the beach in tennis shoes / Tracing patterns on the coast.”

Local Natives - Ava (Official Audio)

Local Natives leaves listeners with “Paradise,” an open-ended, signature indie-pop ballad in which holding onto dreams is still an option. Between all the longing and searching of Time Will Wait For No One, the band comforts their fans with the warmth of starting over, “Is the sun rising? / I can’t get up that early / I’m holding onto my dreams.” In the wake of uncertainty, the older and wiser Local Natives brace themselves for new phases of adulthood with unwavering confidence.

Local Natives - Paradise