Artist Spotlight

Review: Lord Huron, “Strange Trails”

No Comments 5 April 2015

Review: Lord Huron, “Strange Trails”

“Lord Huron has managed to once again harness its own brand of peculiarly charming and agile lyricism on Strange Trails. From the first haunting note to the last, this record enchants and entertains. But the brilliance truly lies in Schneider’s ability to tap into each individual listener’s imagination…”

Artist: Lord Huron

Album: Strange Trails

Genre: Folk Rock

RIYL: Gregory Alan Isakov, Blind Pilot, The Apache Relay, Wild Cub

Lord Huron Strange Trails

There is something mysterious and mercurial about Strange Trails. This record bears the undeniable songwriting mark of Lord Huron’s musical maestro Ben Schneider, whose last full album effort gained much-deserved critical and fan support. Like its brilliant predecessor, Lonesome Dreams, this album wastes no time in unfurling its cinematic grandeur with the gorgeous opening track, “Love Like Ghosts,” and never wavers. In fact, that seemingly high writing and arrangement benchmark is met and eclipsed as the tracks churn on to their final end.

It’s worth exploring that term “cinematic” when talking about Lord Huron. Schneider and company make it sound so easy to conjure up heavy imagery, but it’s a studied and focused marriage of sound and vision. Each song brims with life, mystery and feels like it’s sitting on the precipice of…well…use your imagination. These tunes move in directions both familiar and wildly unpredictable, which is what makes them so effective both alone and sitting alongside each other as a collection of tracks.

“Dead Man’s Hand” became a quick favorite, its moments of dischord creating a marvelous few minutes of tense and resplendent musicality. “La Belle Fleur Sauvage” bears the most resemblance to the band’s previous album, but it moves and shakes with an urgency that’s infectious despite its familiarity. “Fool for Love” slides seamlessly out of “La Belle” pushing that dynamic energy even further to its edges bringing in influences that are equally at home with classic vintage pop and campfire singalongs. “The World Ender” is a quirky but buoyant blend of bewitching lyricism that features a particularly charismatic vocal performance.

“Meet Me in the Woods” again brings a compelling melody and urgency that tips its hat to another visual lyricist, Bruce Springsteen. The lush and layered “Frozen Pines” is another standout, pushing forward with a compulsion matched by the passion portrayed in Schneider’s words. “Cursed” then drives even deeper with a near desperation toward the somewhat trippy “Way Out There.” “The Night We Met” closes the record with the band’s signature expressive and eloquent storytelling style.

Lord Huron has managed to once again harness its own brand of peculiarly charming and agile lyricism on Strange Trails. From the first haunting note to the last, this record enchants and entertains. But the brilliance truly lies in Schneider’s ability to tap into each individual listener’s imagination allowing them to bring those image-laden lines to visual life. This is a unique gift, one that successfully surfaces over and over on Strange Trails. What a gloriously good time it is to get lost on the trails that dot the Lord Huron soundscape.


Lord Huron website: http://www.lordhuron.com

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