Album Review: Strange Trails by Lord Huron

Today I bring you Lord Huron, an indie/folk/Americana group that started with one guy in Michigan (hence the name) several years ago. Ben Schneider’s around-the-campfire style was brought to life in Lonesome Dreams, the group’s first full-length album released in 2012. 

I hadn’t heard of Lord Huron until “The Stranger” shuffled into my life on an indie playlist. The song immediately became a favorite of mine, with its upbeat and wistful instrumental backdrop. I’m not one who really pays attention to lyrics, but it’s hard to miss the stark juxtaposition of cheerful roadtripping music with wary and mistrusting lyrics: “I can’t trust anyone or anything these days… You are not the one you say you are.” The unsettling and slightly depressing lyrical style of Lord Huron is ever-present on their new album, Strange Trails.

Upon first listen, I picked a few favorites from the group’s sophomore release. “Love Like Ghosts” and “Meet Me in the Woods” feel like a continuation of Lonesome Dreams, while “Way Out There” slows it down a bit with an irresistible vocal melody. This is music that would sound best in the middle of a forest in northern Minnesota, on the bank of a serene lake, with no civilization within a 5-mile radius. It put me in a contemplative mood, but I also couldn’t sit still. Lord Huron’s music just makes one want to move to the beat.

While there are a few songs here that I’ll listen to again, I’ve got to be honest. Lord Huron’s music isn’t on my everyday listening playlists. They present folk music reminiscent of Fleet Foxes or My Morning Jacket, but I can always tell when I’m listening to a Lord Huron song. I place their tunes squarely in the “study music” category, and it is great for focusing. However, if you’re listening just to listen, you might become a little bored with the length of this one. Who knows, maybe that’s just me and my TL;DR lifestyle.

Media: 1, 2, 3

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