Take note emerging artists. After having a hit song, it seems natural to chase a more pop-leaning sound to remain on the radio. Lord Huron instead turned inward and put out a hauntingly dark album about love and loss, giving the listener a very intimate picture of what the end of a relationship feels like. This is how you follow up a hit.
Their first album since the Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ made them a household name – after including ‘The Night We Met’ on its soundtrack – is a psychedelic journey through time and space. ‘Vide Noir’is the story of a man searching for a way to live outside of a relationship that’s left him wanting to die without his beloved. The visuals on Spotify help to carry the psychedelic vibe as well, furthering the fact that this album is a narrative journey, albeit a jumbled one.
The album starts with a man ‘Lost in Time and Space’. He’s ready to takeoff, searching the far corners of the universe for the woman who left him behind. The middle of the album feels placed in random order purposely. He seems to battling his own desires, at times wanting to ‘get away from her’,but ultimately he’s unable to do what he seems to know is best for him.
After, we hear the downtrodden singer lamenting that he “will never ever love another the way he loved her.”He “doesn’t care about living or dying, wondering if she is out there, dead or alive.The lyrics will knock you back, but the flute will bring you back to life.
In the album standout ‘Wait by the River’ he tells his long-lost lover that he’ll be waiting by the river Styx, and he’ll be sailing down it if she doesn’t meet him there. An achingly beautiful last appeal to his beloved, this is what true heartache looks like. The video for the song is a wonderful dose of nostalgia using the themes of bandstand performances and old country singer scenes, adding the same psychedelic visuals interspersed throughout to remind the viewer of the journey this is a part of.
On ‘The Balancer’s Eye’ the bluesy riff, akin to The White Stripes, is a welcome divergence from the standard song format of the album, consisting of lo-fi, drowned out vocals carried by smooth guitars, soft drums, and catchy baselines, a formula that works wonderfully for the band. There also seems to be some influence from Arctic Monkeys circa their ‘AM’ album.
In the final song ‘Emerald Star’, he has found his woman, telling her of his mangled journey to get to her. He lays out all of his cards, and after ripping himself open, showing her everything, he asks, “will you come with me?”
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Death, heartbreak, and giving up are present all throughout the album, but through it all there is hope. There seems to be catharsis for the main character after letting out all of his sorrows. In the end that’s all anyone can do it seems. He pours his heart out for a woman who no longer loves him, and in the end he’s okay with that, knowing that he did all that he could.
For even more fun, call 1-877-Vide-Noir, and go on your own journey through time and space.
Vide Noir is out now via Whispering Pine/Republic Records, currently at No. 9 on the Billboard 200.
You can see Lord Huron at ones of the following venues…
June 1 — San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
June 2 — Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
June 3 — Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
June 5 — Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
June 7 — Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
June 15-June 17 — Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival