Native Other is a four-piece dream pop band from Toronto. Or are they emo? Alt R&B maybe? Soft rock? The group's debut EP, If I Can Keep It Together, travels each of those territories navigating hidden bridgeways and intersections between each.
That's sort of how they found their name. There are no political connotations intended, says guitarist and singer Curtis Skeete. They wanted to use the word "native" to describe themselves as inhabitants of the band, as if it's where they were truly born. Then, thinking about their omnivorous style, Skeete thought about the outdated iTunes classification "Alternative/Other." Their broad and, at times, disparate influences — from mathy second-wave emo and retro-tone lite pop to chilly, Toronto sound hip-hop — find a home together within the bonds of the band.
Skeete shared more about the stories that evolved from If I Can Keep It Together:
There was no set mission with these songs, but the collection became a reflection of romantic encounters in 2015 that ended up forming their own story. 'Palms' and 'Afraid of the Dark' start the EP and each introduce a person of interest. 'Chlorine' discusses the hesitancy that can be involved in pursuing a relationship due to insecurity and self doubt. 'Lust + Loss' is the conclusion, where each relationship introduced earlier in the EP is reflected on and I (Curtis) explain that I'm now at a point where I'm confident and capable of finding what I seek and getting what I want in this life.
Each song creates its own space and maintains its own mood, which I think is best to be experienced first hand, without my input. Drink something, smoke something, sit alone in a dark room with your headphones on, go for a walk — whatever you need to do. Just listen wherever you feel comfortable and vibe out!
We'll get out of your way now.