Lord Huron - Vide Noir ALBUM REVIEW

On their third studio album, American indie-folk band Lord Huron embark on a melancholy, magical trip through the cosmos in a twelve track outing that is equally as poignant as it is serene.

    Three years, thirteen days, and one big record deal since the release of “Strange Trails”, Lord Huron have upped the ante and dropped their follow up album “Vide Noir”. It is an exciting outing for Ben Schneider and co. as they weave deep, heart-rending lyrics with soothing, spellbinding sounds. Over the course of 48 minutes, Huron prove that they are not a one-trick pony, and introduce new, electrifying sounds and riffs without losing the relaxing, easy listening vibe that they’ve assembled for themselves over the past half-decade.

    “Vide Noir” is the album that Dan Auerbach and Grizzly Bear would’ve created had they worked together in an alternate universe to create “Veckatimist”. On songs such as “Wait by the River” and “Back from the Edge”, Lord Huron reincarnate the loveable folk sound that they’re known for. It’s on tunes like “Never Ever”, “Vide Noir”, and “Ancient Names (Part I & II)” however, where the group finds a new spunk unlike anything they’ve ever done before.

Band members Mark Barry, Tom Renaud, Miguel Briseño, and Ben Schneider

Band members Mark Barry, Tom Renaud, Miguel Briseño, and Ben Schneider

    On a track like “When the Night is Over” for instance, the group effortlessly extract the purest form of human sadness; the feeling of longing. Schneider does this masterfully, investing everything in finding his lover before the night comes to a close. He becomes lost in the galaxy he’s woven for himself, and seems to drift further and further into the abyss, dragging the listener with him each step of the way. The penultimate track, “Vide Noir”, launches the group into a “pure black void”. The most riveting lyric of the record can be found here, as Schneider poses “Where do you go when it’s all in your head”, solemnly continuing, saying “these are the last words that I ever said”. 

The group effortlessly extract the purest form of human sadness; the feeling of longing
— Stephen Haring

    The cosmic-folk atmosphere prominent in songs like “Lost in Time and Space” and “Wait by the River” flows through the record from start to finish, feeding the lugubrious flame that feels lost at times in songs like “The Balancer’s Eye” and “Moonbeam”. Lord Huron’s newfound indie-folk/garage grunge mixture can be found at the heart of a song like “Secret of Life” where Schneider dreams of reaching the moon. In the course, he blasts, “I wanna get at least that high, Wanna leave the Earth and all things behind”. Schneider dreams of venturing to the cosmos, seeking long-lost love and a happier future, with his soul mate by his side.

    The cosmic voyager’s fate is finally revealed at the end of the (conveniently titled) final track “Emerald Star”. Through the course of “Vide Noir”, Lord Huron trek into the dark unknown, aimlessly looking for love in a smooth and gentle, yet gripping intergalactic quest. With sharp guitar riffs and pulsating vocals throughout the majority of the record, the band wants the listener to want a happy ending. On “Emerald Star”, it turns out all the yearning was in vain, and that there is no way Lord Huron will make it out of the black void anytime soon.

Cover Art for Lord Huron - Strange Trails (2015)

Cover Art for Lord Huron - Strange Trails (2015)

“You never loved me” is all that’s left for the band after the four and a half minute long waltz is said and done. Schneider is left singing “I came all the way through time and space, To take you away and out of this place”. The cosmic love was unrequited the entire time and “Never Ever” was meant to be, as the second track had foreshadowed earlier.

    On album number three, Lord Huron kept the pedal to the metal, and found themselves a new path to explore. The emotion within the album is relentless and it sticks for much longer than anticipated. What lies ahead for this band is as unknown as the galaxy itself, but once thing is almost certain, the best is yet to come for a group that continues to impress, record after record.

    Lord Huron, We’ll cry and we’ll cry if the light you’ve found on this album ever dies. “Vide Noir” is a fresh take on an old sound, thanks to some much needed adrenaline and a little touch of the stars from above.

FINAL SCORE:

8.4/10

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