Energetic, edgy and dark, yet full of wonder.
Artist: Lord Huron
Label: Grand Jury Music
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Duration: 14 tracks, 55:39
While so many alt-folk bands today change direction in an attempt to grow their audience, Lord Huron has the unusual natural progression from their first EPs, 2010’s Mighty and Into The Sun, to 2012’s Lonesome Dreams to their newest release Strange Trails refining their sound and message without losing their history. Each collection of songs growing from the previous while retaining their original aura. Their alt-folk sound is unique and talks to all generations of love, the human condition and with a touch of nature imbedded to the sound. A favorite among hikers, backpackers, and nature lovers of all types, their sound continually reminds one of being in nature, which is the reason four of their five tunes from their previous release, Lonesome Dreams, were chosen for the soundtrack to the recent movie A Walk In The Woods.
With a lead vocal similar to early Springsteen, “Love Like Ghosts” has the definitive sound of Lord Huron with lyrics commanding but personal taking the listener on the song’s journey. With a slow fade into “Until The Night Turns” the song’s energy hits full speed with fast melody and vocals with clean breaks quickening the pace until the ending sax blows the song to a higher plateau.
“Dead Man's Hand” shows their slower, smoother side with classic reverb in vocals while “Hurricane (Johnnie's Theme)” has all the energy and cadence of Lord Huron’s catalogue.
“La Belle Fleur Sauvage” is a slower folk offering showcasing the percussion like a freight train on the tracks present on many of their songs while accompanied by the slow, low notes of the lead guitar cutting through the tune’s breaks. With a similar percussion, “Fool for Love” transitions from the previous song with a clever melding of instrument to lyric, upbeat with lead vocals and chorus building to a hot beat alive with feeling
“The World Ender” shows a darker side with melody and reverb on vocals giving a modern spin on mid-60’s Roy Orbison-like ballads. Perfect for a Tarantino western! The extended version of Strange Trails include the explicit “Meet Me in the Woods” having a foundation in their distinctive sound.
There is a richness, a beauty imbedded in Lord Huron’s music and in this their latest collection of songs. Strange Trails has everything for the alt-folk / outdoors-type listener. Energetic, edgy and dark, yet full of wonder.
Scott S Mertens