Vide Noir

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Vide Noir
A geometric illustration of a green emerald on a solid black background
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 20, 2018
Recorded2016–2017
StudioWhispering Pines Studios
GenreRock[1]
Length48:55
LabelRepublic/Whispering Pines
Lord Huron chronology
Strange Trails
(2015)
Vide Noir
(2018)

Vide Noir is the third studio album by American rock band Lord Huron. It was released on April 20, 2018, by Republic Records, their first for a major record label. The title Vide Noir is French for "Black Void".

Background[edit]

After recording their second album, Strange Trails, in 2014, and releasing it in early 2015, the band toured heavily in support of its release during the following few years.[2] This exposure eventually led to the band’s song, "The Night We Met,” being featured in the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. The feature led to the song breaking into the Billboard US all-format Hot 100 chart at number 84.[2][3] The song's mainstream breakthrough caught the attention of Republic Records. After signing, the band began to work on their third studio album.[2]

Writing and recording[edit]

The album was their first to be recorded on a major record label.[4] The album was mixed by veteran music producer Dave Fridmann, who the band chose to work with due to his previous work with Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, and Baroness.[5]

Themes and composition[edit]

The album's title, Vide Noir, is French for "Black Void".[6] Frontman and lyricist Ben Schneider stated that he drew influence for writing the album from wandering around Los Angeles at night.[7] He explained:

"My nighttime drives ranged all over the city — across the twinkling grid of the valley, into the creeping shadows of the foothills, through downtown’s neon canyons and way out to the darksome ocean,I started imagining Vide Noir as an epic odyssey through the city, across dimensions, and out into the cosmos. A journey along the spectrum of human experience. A search for meaning amidst the cold indifference of The Universe."[7]

Schneider noted a slight change in sound for the band in the album; noting that it was more of a "very bass- and drums-heavy record" and that "There’s plenty of acoustic guitar still on there, but usually, it’s distorted and blown to shit.[5] Spin Magazine and NPR noted that the song "Ancient Names (Part 1)" possessed the band's usual indie folk rock sound, while "Ancient Names (Part 2)" was described as moving into a more garage rock sounding sound.[4][8][9] Conversely, "Wait by the River" was described as having a waltz-like sound with the vocals of an obsessive narrator.[9]

Release and promotion[edit]

On January 26, 2018, the band announced the album's name - Vide Noir and its release date, as April 20, 2018.[8] The same date, the band also premiered the first two songs from the album, "Ancient Names (Part 1)" and "Ancient Names (Part 2)".[4] A third song, "Wait by the River", was released ahead of the album on February 16, 2018,[9] and another released on March 30, 2018 titled "When the Night is Over." "Ancient Names (Part 1)" would peak at number 45 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart,[10] while "Wait by the River" would peak at number 17 on the same chart,[11] number 22 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart.[12]

On March 30, 2018, seven songs from the album were made available to stream at specific geo-locations across the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Using followtheemeraldstar.com and a mobile device with GPS, such as a smartphone, the user was guided to the hand-selected locations, including national parks, hikes, beaches, and even a volcano, where they could then listen to one song.[13]

The band also launched a Vide Noir public access television show in select American cities. This was designed to be an immersive program that "expands upon the album's narratives and themes while showcasing the hidden world that inhabits Vide Noir".[13] This program was also streamed on Twitch for worldwide viewing on April 19, 2018.[14]

The band will embark on a headlining tour to support the album, starting release day, April 20, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and will move throughout North America until ending in Denver, Colorado in October 2018.[15]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic71/100[16]
Review scores
SourceRating
The Guardian4/5 stars[17]
The Line of Best Fit8/10[18]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[19]
NME3/5 stars[20]
PopMatters7/10[21]
Spin7/10[22]

Under the Radar magazine praised the album, describing it as "easily the band's most musically striking release to date" and stating that it "hold[s] the same grounded grooves fans and critics have come to appreciate from their first two albums,...but layered atop and around Ben Schneider's rooted compositions are psychedelic frills, fuzzed out guitars, and foreign instrumentation.[23]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ben Schneider[24].

No.TitleLength
1."Lost in Time and Space"4:44
2."Never Ever"2:52
3."Ancient Names (Part I)"6:02
4."Ancient Names (Part II)"2:05
5."Wait by the River"3:11
6."Secret of Life"3:50
7."Back from the Edge"3:03
8."The Balancer's Eye"4:29
9."When the Night is Over"5:12
10."Moonbeam"4:19
11."Vide Noir"4:30
12."Emerald Star"4:38
Total length:48:55

Personnel[edit]

Band[4]

  • Ben Schneider – vocals
  • Tom Renaud – guitar
  • Miguel Briseño – bass, keyboards
  • Mark Barry – drums

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[25] 134
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[26] 40
Scottish Albums (OCC)[27] 70
US Billboard 200[1] 9
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[28] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[29] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (April 29, 2018). "J. Cole Claims Fifth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart & Biggest Week of 2018 With 'KOD'". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Lord Huron | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  3. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  4. ^ a b c d "We've Got Two New Lord Huron Songs — And A Secret". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  5. ^ a b "A Look Inside The Insular World Of Lord Huron". Stereogum. 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  6. ^ http://www.nme.com/reviews/album/lord-huron-vide-noir-album-review
  7. ^ a b https://www.stereogum.com/1980273/lord-huron-ancient-names-part-i-ancient-names-part-ii/music/
  8. ^ a b "Lord Huron Announce New Album Vide Noir With Two-Part "Ancient Names"". Spin. 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  9. ^ a b c "Lord Huron – "Wait by the River"". Spin. 2018-02-16. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  10. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  11. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/lord-huron/chart-history/rock-songs
  12. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  13. ^ a b https://kexp.org/read/2018/4/20/album-review-lord-huron-look-cosmos-vide-noir/
  14. ^ https://twitter.com/LordHuron/status/987091021057032193
  15. ^ "Lord Huron announces third album release with 2018 tour dates". AXS. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  16. ^ "Vide Noir by Lord Huron Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  17. ^ Simpson, Dave. "Lord Huron: Vide Noir review – pop goes the astral plane". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  18. ^ Loftin, Steven. "Lord Huron make a bold leap on Vide Noir". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  19. ^ Murphy, John. "Lord Huron – Vide Noir". musicOMH. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  20. ^ Bartleet, Larry. "Lord Huron – 'Vide Noir' Review". NME. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  21. ^ Woronzoff, Elisabeth. "Folk Rockers Lord Huron Get a Bit Experimental on 'Vide Noir'". PopMatters. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  22. ^ Gaca, Anna. "Lord Huron Choose Melodrama Over Charm on the Enigmatic Vide Noir". Spin. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Vide Noir". www.undertheradarmag.com. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  24. ^ According to the credits on the iTunes Store.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lord Huron – Vide Noir" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  26. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  28. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  29. ^ "Lord Huron Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2018.