Like our good friends, Kopecky Family Band, Lord Huron built up a nice buzz on the strength of two excellent EPs and some excellent performances at SXSW, CMJ and other festivals. Fans have been clamoring for Lord Huron’s debut and, like Kopecky, it answered the bell and then some.
The crux of Lord Huron is Ben Schneider, a Michigan native that found his out way west to California. Lord Huron is rounded out by Mark Barry (percussion, vocals), Miguel Briseno (bass, percussion), Brett Farkas (guitar, vocals) and Tom Renaud (guitar, vocals). The quintet blends the pastoral folk of Fleet Foxes, the Afro-pop percussion elements of Graceland era Paul Simon with the indie pop sensibility of Local Natives. That’s alot of good ingredients mixed together and, like
meaty stew, chicken pot pie a bowl of veggie chili, all parts blend together effortlessly leaving you satisfied, but not bloated.
The central themes in most of the tracks tend to be nature and the fairer sex and Schneider knows how to write a song. The lyrics offer a bit more than Bieber singing about his swag. The opening verse of my favorite track, She Lit a Fire, is:
I’ve been through the desert
And I’ve been across the sea
I’ve been walking through the mountains
I’ve wandered through the trees
The lyrics throughout the album paint vivid pictures and the sound creates atmosphere, putting the listener in a specific place. Nowhere is this more prominent than on the gorgeous (Oz’s favorite), The Ghost On The Shore. The mix is fantastic as hints of strings, harmonica and squealing guitar pop in and out as Schneider more or less reads an elegy. The harmonies on this tune give it a spiritual feel and you’re transported to a cold, foggy, desolate coast somewhere with jagged rocks and soaring cliffs. At least I was, but he’s probably singing of Lake Huron, which has its own cold and fog. The lyrics are chilling:
Right where I lay let my bones turn to sand
I was born on a lake and I don’t want to leave you
Every eye on the coast every morn will remember
The sight of the ghost on the shore
Time to Run is another standout track that increases the pace of temp and highlights the band’s sense of percussion and rhythm – again, in a way that would make Paul Simon proud. In a year with tremendous debut albums, Lonesome Dreams is right up there with the best of them.