Local Natives Co-Founder Kelcey Ayer Leaves Band

"While I have cherished so so much all that we’ve built, I’ve always wanted space and time to build other things"

Photo: Elizabeth Miranda

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 30, 2024

Local Natives just released But I'll Wait for You, the companion album to 2023's Time Will Wait for No One, earlier this month. In a timely turn of events, they've announced the departure of co-founding multi-instrumentalist and singer, Kelcey Ayer.

After forming in 2005, the tight-knit outfit hasn't undergone many lineup changes — with the exception of bassist Andy Hamm leaving the band in 2011. They broke the news about Ayer leaving, seemingly on good terms, on Instagram last night. He'll stick around for the upcoming Local Natives tour dates before making his exit.

"We started making music together when we were teenagers, our bond is so much deeper than just bandmates; we have a true family love between us," the band wrote. "While we're of course sad to see our very talented and wonderfully weird friend go, we're supportive of his decision to step away from Local Natives to focus on other projects."

They added, "Endings are also new beginnings. For the four of us, this next chapter gives us a chance to reimagine what it means to make music together, and ultimately has deepened our commitment to Local Natives."

In a statement of his own, Ayer explained, "While I have cherished so so much all that we've built, I've always wanted space and time to build other things. I have my own music and my own interests that I'd like to see flourish, and while my bandmates have always been supportive, the reality is that time is finite. It came to a point that I realized my whole adult life I've been a part of one thing and I just yearn to explore. I don't know what the future holds, but I just want to find out what that can be on a wide open road."

Ayer released a solo album under the name Jaws of Love in 2017, and doesn't seem to be much of an Eagles fan. See both statements on his departure from Local Natives in full below, as well as a recent clip of the band covering Adrianne Lenker's "Sadness as a Gift" for SiriusXM (again, very timely).

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