Album Review: Lord Huron – Vide Noir

LA indie-rockers Lord Huron have presented a fresh batch of new songs and titled the project Vide Noir. From the very introduction of the album, listeners will learn of the experimental styles in the third era of the band’s music. Opening up with a 40 second woodland/forest meditative vibe, it creates the fresh air paradise that listeners breathe in when they think of Lord Huron’s mellow yet enticing folk-rock beats. This meditation seamlessly transitions to the opening acoustic chords of Lost In Time And Space. The bold, brassy acoustic chord ringing complemented with relaxed vocals and deep, colorful harmonies make the song an instant album highlight and new fan favorite.

The energy speeds up on the second track Never Ever, shifting the pace to a more upbeat level. This lively beat continues into Ancient Names (Part 1) and brings back some more experimental studio sounds. The jam, three minutes in on this track, is one of the most memorable moments of the album because of the intense energy and shredding guitars. Ancient Names continues on track four as Part 2 of this energized, boisterous melodic ride of song. These decisions to split one general song structure into two separate songs displays the power of Lord Huron’s creativity. Attention to specific sound bites within the first part of the song led the band to notice a shift in momentum that worked as its own separate track.

The fifth song, Wait By The River, was the first single from the record and provided a mix of both the experimental and familiar Lord Huron styles. The song’s balanced energy makes it the single that fans needed to get the excitement raging for the new album.

Secret Of Life blasts into a rocking drumbeat, which continues the upbeat, experimental rock style theme of Vide Noir, whilst Back From The Edge stands out as one of the highlights of the album. It has the chilling groove and smooth vocal melody that hooks Lord Huron fans. The next song, The Balancer’s Eye, contains electric guitar riffs that expand the bands mostly acoustic style – Vide Noir gains it’s experimental vibe with more electric guitars and more studio effects than previously released by the band.

When The Night Is Over hypnotizes listeners immediately with a catchy, snare driven beat. The sing-along lyrics and melody helps keep the rhythm and soul of the song alive. The next song Moonbeam also has a hypnotizing effect and puts listeners in a trance with its spacey vibes and instrumentals. A recurring phrase in the song is “like a movie” and the big, animated sound on this track definitely could be scored in any upcoming popcorn flick. The title track Vide Noir might be the most unique song on the record with sitar sounding studio effects and mixed meter rhythm and percussion.

The last song Emerald Star ends the album on a spacey, day-dreamy vibe which sums up Lord Huron’s surfer soul enthused folk-rock energy. This band has presented a tight new set of music that will surely keep them alive in the folk rock spotlight for many years.

Scott J. Herman