Strange Trails

Album Review of Strange Trails by Lord Huron.

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Strange Trails

Lord Huron

Strange Trails by Lord Huron

Release Date: Apr 7, 2015
Record label: Iamsound
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Folk

68 Music Critic Score
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Strange Trails - Fairly Good, Based on 7 Critics

AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

On their follow-up, Strange Trails, Lord Huron settle into the Western themes and sense of open prairies that marked the band's debut, Lonesome Dreams. Frontman/songwriter Ben Schneider fully embraces the American West/Troubadour character, illustrated even in song titles like "Dead Man's Hand," "Meet Me in the Woods," and "The Yawning Grave. " The album's lyrics tell haunted stories of adventure and survival ("On the night you disappeared/Oh, if I had seen it clear/But a strange light in the sky was shining right into my eyes"), with nature imagery ("In a grave out here where the carrions cry"), and the occasional old-time turn of phrase ("Before I commence my ride/I'm asking Lily to be my bride").

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PopMatters - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

In discussing Lord Huron, it’s impossible to ignore the tonal similarities of lead vocalist Ben Schneider’s voice to that of Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Each possesses a similar timbre that seems to exist almost solely within the genre, becoming a prerequisite of sorts for those looking to play this very specific form of washed out, sepia-toned Americana. While heavy reverb certainly plays a role in the sound, there’s a certain grain in the voice of each, an affectation that functions as a sort of evolutionary trait inherited by those fated to front folky indie rock bands.

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musicOMH.com - 70
Based on rating 3.5
70

As the saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Lord Huron clearly feel their musical direction is nowhere near fractured – and without further ado Strange Trails, their second album, picks up where the 2012 debut Lonesome Dreams left off. Yet now there is extra firepower to the project, for Lord Huron is now a band rather than Ben Schneider’s augmented solo project.

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Drowned In Sound - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

Strange Trails’ cover is styled as the kind of retro adventure novel now to be found sodden with nostalgic dust in charity shops and yellowing in a quiet cubby at your grandma’s house. From then on, it doesn’t take long to twig that this aesthetic has an influence on Lord Huron that runs far more than skin deep. Instead, this image casts the first stone into a pool of memories, shared and invented, creating ripples that spread throughout the entire record.

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Spin
Their review was positive

With new albums flying at us left and right in a DIY age where anything you doodle on your laptop could become tomorrow’s viral hit, plenty of great stuff still falls between the cracks even for music journalists. Here’s the amazing music we’ve been waiting to tell you about ever since we ….

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Austin Chronicle
Their review was positive

If a pair of 2010 EPs approximated an untamed jungle and 2012's debut LP Lonesome Dreams a tree house amongst it, Lord Huron's sophomore full-length Strange Trails is Ben Schneider's completed bungalow, his little plot of land in lush wilds. And from the sounds of "Until the Night Turns" and "Meet Me in the Woods," he might've invited Bruce Springsteen to share it. The L.A.

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Blurt Magazine
Their review was only somewhat favourable

When a band establishes a signature sound that seems to defy description it automatically sets them apart as far as one to watch. Lord Huron accomplished that feat their first time out, and while their new album retraces similar ground, it’s no less intriguing. The brainchild of frontman Ben Schneider, Strange Trails takes up where 2012‘s debut Lonesome Dreams left off, via another set of nocturnal, dream-like visions that span a sound drifting from the celebratory to the cerebral.

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