Eric Schackne

REVIEW: Lord Huron – ‘Lonesome Dreams’

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It’s 2:00AM, exactly one hour since I got home from a long night of work.  On my feet all night, I was wiped out.  Fast forward to, well, right now, and I couldn’t feel more awake after listening to Lord Huron’s newest record.  Rewind to one hour ago and see what’s keeping me up all night.

Minimal percussion and an airy voice floating alongside some interesting harmonies, Lonesome Dreams is off to a folky start.  The strings keep us in an echoed barn while synths and reverb attempts to lift you up higher.  This is orchestral and my Lord Huron is elegantly using these electrified tones.  They really know how to throw around a mood(A vague wind whisping coupled with some thin synth pads spread out for the heavy footsteps of the approaching drums that sweep me up and take me running).

The vocals come together in a Fleetfoxes way but with the tambor of The Shins’ singer James Mercer.  There’s a playfulness in “Time To Run,” and it almost has a you-can-call-me-Al kind of energy.  Like maybe they’d play that in an arena after the hometown basketball team scores a three-pointer, or maybe it’s the part where the mascott, spotlight in tow, dances all up on some older lady in the box seats, and she gets sooooo embarrassed…I digress.

Title track, “Lonesome Dreams” is aptly named.  This slouching electro rock tune makes me want to slouch and sing along.  This is great headphones music; most of these tracks have amazing entrances and exits.  Before you know it, you’re swimming in an ice-blue pool in your backyard at night.  “The Ghost On The Shore” has a quiet confidence with an accordian on top of the churning acoustic guitar riff.  Another great transition leans us into “She Lit A Fire.”  This already feels like one of the most intimate songs on the album so far.  This song is so relaxing.

At what feels like a clear breath in the middle, I’m drawn in by the soft rock intro of “I Will Be Back One Day.”  Reverbed clean guitars strum around in the background to keep this song swinging, and the melody is just surfing over this vivid musical picture.  On the up-and-up, “The Man Who Lives Forever” has this glimmer of what’s to come with a fast-swaying tamborine, stomps and chanting, clapping and a sweet bass line.

“Lullaby” rocks me to sleep imediately.  There’s something eery about this calm though, and lyrics sneak by hinting at something.  Stuff like, “rest a little while, they’re coming for you” and “dream forever.”  It begins to sound like an Enya song at some point and admittingly, that doesn’t upset me.  Oh Huron, another gradual fade out for his majesty.

“Brother(Last Ride)” will be the soundtrack to your first dream courtesy of “Lullaby.”  These harmonies are making me want to mount a horse and charge somewhere, and I’m wearing an awesome hat.  This has that same island influence that inspired my Paul Simon comparison earlier and it gallops to a halt.  The chiming of glass or metal lures me into the final track, “In The Wind.”  As per the name, the music and vocals seem to float right on in, and the sparse percussion really keeps you looking forward.  This track never lived up to the intro in my opinion, and it isn’t my favorite.  But, they do a decent job of factioning off the instruments through the end, and the strings give it an elegance that it might not have had before.

Lonesome Dreams is a moody album and would be a good wind down record.  There were definitely a wide array of genres poking their heads out of the music at various moments.  The vocals carry a lot of these songs, and I’m sure they’d be a fun show to catch in a club or outdoor stage.  Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is…Summer is over; it’s Fall.  Take a listen to Lord Huron’s latest effort Lonesome Dreams for one last romp through a warm forest or one more day riding bikes around the neighborhood…or put on those pink Ralph Lauren shorts one more time before they hibernate until next year.  Or maybe you can just donate them…everybody lies and says you look great in them…

…I digress.

TRACK LIST:

  1. Ends Of The Earth
  2. Time To Run
  3. Lonesome Dreams
  4. The Ghost On The Shore
  5. She Lit A Fire
  6. I Will Be Back One Day
  7. The Man Who Lives Forever
  8. Lullaby
  9. Brother(Last Ride)
  10. In The Wind

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