Lord Huron, “Strange Trails”
The three-year journey from Lonesome Dreams to Strange Trails has been an exploratory one for Lord Huron. Where the Los Angeles band’s debut full-length focused on dusty pulp adventures and the glorious landscapes of the West, this second LP steers listeners down the non-linear internal path of love and all of the emotions that one goes through when falling in and out of it. Although the subject of love and loss is as old as time itself, Ben Schneider tackles it with a grounded sense of maturity. His sound—a mix of synthetic textural pop and folksy Americana melodies—has become a bit more mainstream as he plays with distorted surf-rock layers (like on “Hurricane [Jonnie’s Theme]”), but the album’s best tracks still come from Schneider’s lyrical storytelling strengths, especially the haunting laments “Love Like Ghosts” and “The Night We Met,” which open and close the LP. Strange Trails might not take listeners down the road less traveled, but it still provides the warm and familiar comfort of a wise friend.