Lord Huron–Vide Noir

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In the search for current music that, at best, I like, or, at least, intrigues me, I’m  somewhere in between with Lord Huron.  This four piece band hits a lot the mLordHuron_Vide_Noir_Reviewarks.  Their last, Strange Trails, hit a number of things I liked – strange and eerily charming stories, decent tunes, and an overall concept – including the cover at – that was on the mark.

Three years later, they release Vide Noir, or “Black Void.”  All things considered, the album “art” is right on the mark.  In two different songs, “a pure, black void” is referenced.  On their last outing, the imagery was very much nature based, not transcendental, but a lush setting for the strange things happening in the lyrics.  This time, the CD can be summed up as “The girl got away, and I’m lost.”  In space. 

There are twelve tracks on the album, and without too much difficulty, extracting a line from each song pretty well sets the narrative of the album:
I lie awake and say your name into the night
You’re a conjured lie; a figment of my mind
I’m alive for now but good as dead
And I won’t believe in death ‘til I die 
Someday I’ll be dead and gone
Wanna leave the Earth and my things behind
Don’t know what to believe, but I know I’m alive
Can I cross beyond that line?
Now the trail has gone cold
I was drifting through time and space
Heading into a pure, black void
To take you away and out of this place
Maybe you get the gist.  The good news is that you don’t have to be bothered by the lyrics.  First, the band chose not to include them in the CD booklet, instead inserting a bunch of completely uninteresting pictures.  Second, much like their last album, the production focus on reverbs makes the lyrics pretty much intelligible on the faster paced songs.  If you know the lyrics, you can follow along, but otherwise…

Well, there’s the music.  While band leader/lyricist/singer Ben Schneider narrowed his focus significantly, the band has stepped up to make the best music of their career.   Drums – interesting and appropriate, bass – finding a groove and frequently defining a song; keyboards and guitars – frequently trippy; and so on.  In short, you can really like the music without bothering yourself with the lyrics. And, in spite of all that, it may end up being my favorite album of the year.

Next time, I’m hoping the band keeps to the current pace of development, and our fearless leader sinks a little more effort into the wild and weird things that sets this band apart from all the other retro/reverb bands.

4 of 5 STARS_thumb

Favorites include:  “Ancient Names Part 1,” “Secret of Life","The Balancer’s Eye,” “Vide Noir”

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