LORD HURON – ” Long Lost ” Best Albums Of 2021

Posted: May 26, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
May be art of guitar

Lord Huron recently released their first new song since 2018’s “Vide Noir”, which was their best album yet. Like that album, the new song is a slightly psychedelic peice of indie heartland rock, and there’s maybe just a little Bowie/T. Rex glam in the mix too. It’s the kind of song that reminds you what you loved about the previous album.

Stepping out of the woods and into a vaster landscape of space and time, Lord Huron’s newest release “Long Lost” is a celebratory cabaret of genres, stories and characters. Beloved for their harmony-heavy hits, including the haunting ‘The Night We Met’, their fourth album levels up all their previous work, placing the act of making music right at the centre of focus.

Lord Huron have found tales in familiarity. Turning their studio into a main character and exploring the subject through months of livestream shows unveiling the world of Whispering Pines, “Long Lost” is a kind of imagined variety show. Conjuring up all the ghosts of sessions past, the band imagine who might have been there before them, and in turn have created a kind of homage to music. 

Changing genres and tones as they move through characters, Long Lost is a clever take on a concept album, showing the depth and breadth of the band’s skill as they move seamlessly from traditional country on tracks like ‘Love Me Like You Used To’, to through-and-through indie on ‘Not Dead Yet’, even into Beach Boys-Esque surfer corners on ‘At Sea’. Hitting really key musical references and touching base at the heart of several genres, Long Lost has the feeling of a perfectly-curated playlist, walking you through the range of inspiration that’s always been behind Lord Huron’s music, but now letting it speak for itself. From it’s rockabilly hip-swayers to heartbreaking ballads, this record has the same perfect composition that’s a given for Lord Huron release, full of recurring imagery.

Throughout, you get the sense that the band are emulating the work of icons that have inspired them forever, getting to briefly step outside of their own lives and into the shoes of a character. This feeling of play is seen clearly in the creativity of the Live From Whispering Pines videos; a real must-watch for the album. Seemingly letting their imagination run wild, Long Lost comes along with a whole narrative back story, a ghost narrator in the form of Tubbs Tarbell and a cast of characters each with their own literature. Having been given the time free from the distraction of tours, Long Lost is a complete story and vision, a fully realised world that allows you to decide how deeply you interact with it.

At its essence, this album deals with reflection and the way memories morph with distance. Interested in approaching situations and emotions from a side view, frontman and songwriter Ben Schneider has a real skill for writing songs that are both packed with emotion and minimal in style. A real stand-out moment comes on ‘I Lied’, a track shared with the beautiful, classically country voice of Alison Ponthier. Flipping the ballad on its head and writing a bittersweet track guiltily celebrating the end of love, the song is a perfect summary of the wonder of this album; combining traditional instrumentals with genre-defying twists. Using what Ben calls “musical shorthand”, the record tricks you into bringing forth all the emotions and memories you have tied up in a particular genre or era, sometimes shredding up what you know and sometimes just letting you sit in the nostalgia, reflecting on your own experience with music and memory.

Perfectly suited to the vintage tones of the album, flowing between gentle acoustic tracks into full lung crooning, his voice and the vocal symphony built from his harmonies has an indescribable quality to it, able to make you get into your feels at a moment’s notice. So full yet so gentle, the timelessness of his country-tinged vocal ties Long Lost together, staying firmly in control of the world he’s created.

Studying the characters and diving into the narrative isn’t a requirement here, even without all that, Long Lost remains a beautiful record.

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