It’s no secret that Local Natives’ 2010 debut Gorilla Manor is one of the best records of the year, and it’s no secret that “Who Knows Who Cares” is one of the highlights on an album that is, frankly, all highlights (it’s also one of the highlights of a live show that is, frankly, all highlights, but that’s a story for another time). Maybe “Who Knows Who Cares” is so good because it has everything that makes Local Natives a great band: stunning vocal harmonies (did two frontmen ever have such different and perfectly complementary voices as Taylor Rice and Kelsey Ayer?), swelling drums and strings, syncopated piano. It’s a powerful song about a powerful subject (“Jump into the river, baby,” Rice sings, “The current has us now, it’s okay”) and making an indie rock song about fearing self-discovery sound uplifting rather than preachy or dirge-y is a feat in itself. Best, though, might be the whole song’s slow, effortless buildup to a powerful, anthemic ending – maybe the whole punch of “Who Knows Who Cares” is that ending, because when this song ends you know, and you care.
The video depicts a road trip I would like to be part of: good-looking friends, beautiful landscapes, wide blue sky, psychedelic food fights, clothing-optional campfire dance parties. The song’s sense of community – that wordless group chant at the end can’t not be yelled aloud – becomes vividly, beautifully visual. Watch the video below: