Song Stories: Local Natives On How They Wrote ‘Villainy’

Local Natives‘ Ryan Hahn had the idea for ‘Villainy’ even before they released their second album ‘Hummingbird’ in 2013 – meaning it took more than three years to make it onto new album ‘Sunlit Youth’. Hahn worked up the song on music software Ableton while on a flight, showed it to the rest of the band and they loved it. “It felt like it really shaped the record for us,” he says, “and helped us jump off to a lot of different other places musically.” It acted as a declaration of renewal, of starting again and changing your situation – “an empowering feeling,” Hahn says. There are recordings from Thailand, downtown LA and Nicaragua that make up the track – and for the video, the band danced to music by everyone from the Bee Gees to Daft Punk, then shot the projections of them dancing alongside lyrics over important LA landmarks. Check out their full explanation above.