Lord Huron have been gaining fans ever since their 2010 Mighty EP was released with the standout track “The Stranger”. In 2012, their full length debut album Lonesome Dreams followed and they have now placed themselves firmly in the category of talented folk/Americana bands. Lord Huron was started by Michigan-born but Los Angeles-based musician Ben Schneider and later joined by a full band for touring and recording which is now comprised of Ben Schneider (guitar, vocals), Mark Barry (drums, vocals), Miguel Briseno (bass, keys, percussion) and Tom Renaud (guitar).
Not only are they creating great indie/folk/rock but with Lonesome Dreams, they also released a series of music videos all filmed in western 70s style to go along with the album. Next week on April 7th, they will release Strange Trails. We take a listen and share our First Impressions.
There’s something to be said about consistency, and Lord Huron have shown on their third release and second full-length that they know how to create dreamy folk and Americana. It’s an album that will immensely please people who fell in love with them on Lonesome Dreams, as the same sound and themes (crooning about love across the vast wilderness of America) are repeated on Strange Trails. And while I really enjoyed Lonesome Dreams, I have to admit that I was expecting more on their latest album. I was hoping to hear the band stretch itself some more and not rely on a tried-and-true formula. There are a couple of tracks that are slightly different – “The World Ender”, a contemporary take on the classic Western tune, and “La Belle Fleur Sauvage”, which is stripped down and the best song on the album – but the album stays pretty one note. At fourteen tracks, to be honest, it becomes overbearing. And as much as I wanted to like the album, I found myself just saying, “It’s all right.”
Lord Huron is definitely consistent in producing albums with a theme and creative vision. Lonesome Dreams had the western vibe, but with the release of the “Fool for Love” video – it’s similar yet different. With this theme having more of a 50s rocker vibe while still maintaining LH’s folk/americana roots, I can see the vision in terms of the overall album but without all of the visuals aside from the Fool For Love video (I am assuming they will tackle themed videos again with this album), it’s not fully realized.
The theme throughout seems to be about traveling & loss of relationships (“Meet Me in The Woods”) and (“Cursed”), death (“The Yawning Grave”), (“Dead Man’s Hand”), and (“Frozen Pines”), the living dead (“The World Ender”) and of course about love (“Fool for Love”) , (“La Belle Fleur Savage”), (“Love Like Ghosts”), and (“Louisa”). While 14 tracks is quite ambitious, I am going to keep an eye on their you tube/vevo to see Strange Trails visually come to life. I do admire this band for their creativity and they cannot seem to make a bad song. This album can definitely be played from start to finish, especially on a long road trip to somewhere awesome.
Although this album doesn’t break any boundaries or do anything different than making solid and enjoyable tunes as Lord Huron consistently does, I still give it a thumbs up. It’s just not a super duper enthusiastic thumbs up – ok maybe 75 degrees. I will also note that my First Impressions very well could change with more spins and after seeing all of the videos that I’m sure are to come with this expansive album.
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