Strange Trails

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Strange Trails
Strange Trails cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 7, 2015 (2015-04-07) (UK)
April 8, 2015 (2015-04-08) (U.S.)
Genre
Length55:39
LabelIamsound (U.S.)
PIAS Recordings (UK)
ProducerBen Schneider
Lord Huron chronology
Lonesome Dreams
(2012)
Strange Trails
(2015)
Vide Noir
(2018)

Strange Trails is the second studio album by indie rock band Lord Huron. It was released by PIAS Recordings on April 7, 2015, in the United Kingdom, and by Iamsound the next day in the United States. The album received positive reviews from music critics, and charted in Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic74/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
Austin Chronicle3.5/5 stars[3]
Blurt3/5 stars[4]
Drowned in Sound6/10[5]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[6]
PopMatters7/10 stars[7]
Spin8/10[8]
Uncut6/10[9]
Under the Radar7.5/10 stars[10]

Strange Trails has received positive reviews from music critics. Metacritic, a review aggregator, indicates "generally favorable reviews", with an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 10 reviews.[1] Rachel Brodsky of Spin called the album "enchanting from start to finish", praising the lyricism, vocals, and instrumentation.[8] Abby Johnston of the Austin Chronicle wrote "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".[3] Matt Conner of Under the Radar singled out "Meet Me in the Woods" as "undeniably Schneider's best work yet", and while noting that the album was slightly inconsistent in quality, praised it overall as "always beautiful" and "arresting".[10] Marcy Donelson of AllMusic praised the album's "serene ambience and unconventional narrative" and its themes, though she also called the album unsurprising.[2] Ben Hogwood of musicOMH spoke positively of the "melodic strength and songwriting craft while introducing more noticeable elements of vulnerability," while criticizing some of the lyricism.[6]

John Paul of PopMatters said that "Lord Huron succeed in meeting the requisite criteria of their most direct influences and have crafted an album sure to appeal to those enamored of Phosphorescent, Fleet Foxes, and My Morning Jacket", comparing it favorably to the band's previous album.[7] Lee Zimmerman of Blurt said that the album provided "plenty to ponder, and the album’s spectral tones and hallucinatory ambiance suggests that several listens will be needed to fully process the entire effort".[4] In a more mixed review, Bud Scoppa of Uncut stated that "the blend is rich and the performances spirited, but the thin, reverberant sound prevents the tracks from hitting the ear with impact, as if they were mic’d from a distance in a barn".[9] Christopher T. Sharpe of Drowned in Sound praised the lyricism and thematic ideas of the album, but criticized the songs themselves for "fall[ing] short". While he praised some songs, primarily "Hurricane", he concluded that it was "as if the band, having gone to all the effort of building the car from scratch, painting it Technicolor and made the perfect mixtape for their road trip, half-filled the tank and left the wheels uninflated".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ben Schneider.

No.TitleLength
1."Love Like Ghosts"3:44
2."Until the Night Turns"3:47
3."Dead Man's Hand"4:21
4."Hurricane (Johnnie's Theme)"2:46
5."La Belle Fleur Sauvage"5:41
6."Fool for Love"4:34
7."The World Ender"4:30
8."Meet Me in the Woods"4:22
9."The Yawning Grave"3:12
10."Frozen Pines"3:57
11."Cursed"3:58
12."Way Out There"4:10
13."Louisa"3:09
14."The Night We Met"3:28
Total length:55:39

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[11]

Lord Huron

  • Ben Schneider – lead vocals, guitars, producer, assistant engineer, artwork
  • Mark Barry – drums, percussion, vocals, audio engineering
  • Miguel Briseño – bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Tom Renaud – guitars, vocals

Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015–17) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[12] 108
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[13] 16
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 95
US Billboard 200[15] 23
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[16] 1
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[17] 2
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[18] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[19] 2
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[20] 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Strange Trails by Lord Huron". Metacritic. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Donelson, Marcy (April 6, 2017). "Strange Trails - Lord Huron (Review)". AllMusic. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Johnston, Abby (October 2, 2015). "ACL Fest 2015 - Review: Lord Huron". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Zimmerman, Lee (April 6, 2015). "Lord Huron - Strange Trails". Blurt. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Sharpe, Christopher T. (April 6, 2015). "Album Review: Lord Huron - Strange Trails". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Hogwood, Ben (April 8, 2015). "Lord Huron - Strange Trails". musicOMH. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Paul, John (April 9, 2015). "Lord Huron: Strange Trails". PopMatters. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Brodsky, Rachel (May 7, 2015). "SPIN Overlooked Albums Report: Young Guv's Power-Pop, Lord Huron's Folk Revival, and More". Spin. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Scoppa, Bud. "Lord Huron - Strange Trails". Uncut (May 2015). Time Inc. UK. p. 76. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  10. ^ a b Conner, Matt (April 13, 2015). "Strange Trails - Under the Radar". Under the Radar. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Strange Trails - Lord Huron - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lord Huron – Strange Trails" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "Lord Huron | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  15. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  16. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  18. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  19. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2017.