Lord Huron

Strange Trails

Written by: HES on 12/06/2015 08:23:11

Lord Huron is the musical moniker of Ben Schneider and band. Schneider, originating from Michigan, first formed Lord Huron as a solo-project, but just as many of the current folk sensations, Schneider soon added more members to the project in the tradition of The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons and their ilk. Lyrically, the storyline still circles around Schneider’s narrative which is melancholy and soul searching.

Musically, “Strange Trails” is an exercise in mixing folksy country with more Native American motifs like traditional throat singing on “The World Ender”. The country notes are unconventional, with easily recognisable guitar riffs and a refreshing use of bass lines used in songs like “Cursed”. From an emotional perspective, the record plays on the contradiction of semi-upbeat, rhythmic sections paired with tales of heartbreak, as exemplified by the aforementioned “Cursed”: ”I was under her spell and today I feel like hell. She got me going, I guess. Who knew love would be like this?”. “Strange Trails” is in no way a premium example of particularly world-changing lyrics, but in the long run they win in authenticity; the narrative might be banal, but it is believable.

Where the film snaps is primarily when it comes to melodic construction. Out of the whopping 14 cuts that comprise the album, very little changes musically except for the tempi, and even though I find Lord Huron’s company well sounding, this does strain our relationship the most. I appreciate the effort to create a wholesome album, but I think this may be on the overworked side. Already after a few spins the album starts to feel very repetitive. My recommendation would have been to cut down on quantity and instead afford more energy to some elements of contrast so as to surprise in a sea of repetition. In conclusion then, “Strange Trails” is a well sounding, but somewhat non-challenging listening experience.

Download: Cursed, The World Ender, Hurricane (Jonnie’s Theme)
For The Fans Of: The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Milo Greene
Listen: Facebook

Release date 06.04.2015

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