American indie band Lord Huron’s new “Strange Trails” is a smooth, full, vibrant release boasting 14 tracks to keep in your pocket while walking life’s backroads.

The new album opens on the melancholy but solid notes of “Love Like Ghosts,” which you’ll love for lead singer Ben Schneider’s ardent vocals, and for lyrics like “Oh and the moonlight baby shows you what’s real / There ain’t a language for the things I feel.”

Their fast-paced, party-on “Until the Night Turns” is pure festivity. We’re also fond of the George Harrison-ish slide guitar comprising the opening notes of “Dead Man’s Hand.”

Until the Night Turns

There’s a subtle movement to Lord Huron’s music that catches the ear. In an interview with the UK’s Songwriting magazine , Schneider was once quoted as saying “rhythm is a really important in our songs and probably a key part of our songwriting process is figuring out that movement.” This still holds true on the new release.

More kudos for the way the band successfully imparts a tender, poetic touch to the dark, Springsteen-ish “Meet Me in the Woods.” Lovely and deep, it will haunt you, but in a good way.

Meet Me in the Woods

About Lord Huron

Founding member Ben Schneider first began writing music in his hometown of Okemos, Michigan, moving to Los Angeles in 2010 to record several EP’s on his own while steadily adding members to help play live performances. The band’s name was inspired by Lake Huron, a place Schneider visited often while growing up.

Today, band members are: Ben Schneider, guitar, vocals; Mark Barry, percussion, vocals; Miguel Briseño, bass, keys, percussion; and Tom Renaud, guitar and vocals.

Their debut “Lonesome Dreams” was released in 2012, receiving several positive reviews including a writeup in Rolling Stone. What’s not to love? They’re a tight band with a pensive, western-tinged theme that draws in the listener; on both “Lonesome Dreams” and the new album, Lord Huron create an evocative, full and lush form of Americana.

They performed recently at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom and Portland music blogger Kristal Anderson (“musicnutontheloose“) was there.

“It was a full house,” says Anderson, “they sang great harmonies and engaged the entire venue which was filled with a wide array of ages and people. I  hope everyone can catch them live!”

To sum up

Currently touring to promote the new album, the band’s upcoming whistle stops include Nashville, New Orleans, Austin and San Diego. In June, they head to Europe.

Other new-album highlights include the rockabilly fun that is “Fool for Love,” and the album’s nostalgic and poignant closer “The Night We Met.”

The Night We Met

These are the kind of tracks you’ll want to hold close and hang on to while navigating life’s byways.

You can find Lord Huron’s music on iTunes and on their website .

Cynthia Orlando
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