I’m looking longingly at planes passing overhead of late.
That line came to mind the other evening for whatever reason as I sat on our stoop and watched the sunset color planes miles above me. It’s true—we have been itching to travel lately but, in the meantime, as we read through books on South America and suss out mutual schedules with friends, we need to find a fix closer to home.
Luckily, the LA-based band Lord Huron writes beautiful, rolling, majestic music that transports you far away, which should come in handy as New York begins it’s slow decent into post-holiday winter weather.
The band began and largely remains, in spirit, the solo project of Michigan-born Ben Schneider. Schneider studied art, living in France + New York before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue a career in the visual arts, which remains a strong part of his music. Lord Huron began five years later in the summer of 2010, when he spent a week on the shores of Lake Huron recording what would become his debut EP, Into the Sun. From Lord Huron’s label, IAMSOUND:
“For several months he had been writing songs and designing artwork in Los Angeles, though he wasn’t sure exactly where his ideas were headed. There at the lake, where many of his formative experiences had come to pass, Schneider recorded the three songs that would comprise the Into the Sun EP. Like most of his work up to that point, the Into the Sun tracks were heavily influenced by places. Schneider had recently taken trips to Indonesia and Mexico, and the sights and sounds of those places had lingered with him. His return to Lake Huron helped these influences to coalesce. He released the EP online in June and dispersed a small number of CDs complete with the artwork he had been working on. With help from a post by San Francisco bloggers, Yours Truly, the songs quickly gained traction online and Schneider set to work recruiting musicians to help him translate the recordings into a performance. Lord Huron’s first live show was in August 2010.”
A well-recieved second EP—Mighty—followed as did touring as a five-piece. Last fall, the band released their beautiful debut full-length, Lonesome Dreams, and we’ve been wanting to feature them ever since. Their sound will definitely appeal to fans of the first Fleet Foxes album and more tranquil Band of Horses songs—rootsy rock that blends choral vocal melodies and sweeping music. Schneider describes the album’s visual + musical theme accurately as a sort of folk-Western—“I kind of think of these songs as stories from some folk-Western series of novels, but it’s got an exotic twist, too. So I had this image in my head of this desert that’s…Western, but it also kind of looks Middle Eastern, and the crescent moon kind of hints to that. And the lone rider reflects the lonesome idea that runs through the record.”
See what he means by giving a listen to Lord Huron’s “Time to Run”, a song that ebbs and flows, moving from quiet twinkling rests to foot-tapping, driving rock. The band also put out little video teasers for songs. You can see the one for the album opener, “Ends of the Earth”, below and the rest on the band’s site.
Listen to Schneider’s first two EPs and download the MP3s on the Lord Huron’s bandcamp page. Buy the vinyl/CD for Lonesome Dreams via District Lines or use this Record Store Day link to find a local record store near you that sells the album. You can also listen to the album via Spotify on the band’s site. So take a trip in your miiiiiiiiiiiiind, maaaaaaaan.
Album + band artwork by Ben Schneider.
1.23.13 Update: Lord Huron has just added a second show to their coming appearance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg since the first one sold out so quickly. The new show will be Sunday, February 24 + tickets will go on general sale this Friday at noon. American Express card holders can buy the tickets as of today at noon.