LORD HURON has produced the perfect soundtrack to accompany a tranquil moment of wondering about “Where Did The Time Go?”
After an extended period of teasing their fans, American folk band Lord Huron have released their fourth album, Long Lost. It’s an album that tells the story of a complex new character, Tubbs Tarbell, while staying true to the band’s musical identity, a modern take on vintage folk music.
Long Lost is a work of art encompassing themes of love, loss and an almost suffocating number of metaphorical questions about time. On the surface it feels like a melancholy yet lighthearted listen but the story of the album runs a lot deeper. After acquiring a Los Angeles studio that had laid derelict for more than 20 years, Lord Huron renovated the space and have been using It to as their ‘clubhouse’ ever since. They were unable to uncover any history; but feeling like the house was full of spirits they gave stories to each of them.
The protagonist of Long Lost is Tubbs Tarbell, a man who looks and sounds like he is stuck in a 1950s’ American time warp with an obsession with the past. The band introduced listeners to the concept with an open letter from Mr Tarbell on conversation forum Reddit. This knowledge develops a deeper understanding of what the band wanted to achieve with the album whilst creating somewhat of an attachment to Mr Tarbell.
Lord Huron are not shy of the idea of a long album with their previous works averaging at about 12 tracks; yet Long Lost is their longest work yet with 16 tracks. In such a fast-paced, fickle society the length of the album is a risk but after listening to the album and discovering the concept behind it, 16 songs doesn’t feel like long enough.
Michigan-born Ben Schneider launched his career in the music industry in 2010 before recruiting three of his childhood friends, Mark Barry, Miguel Briseño, and Tom Renaud. The band named themselves after one of The Five Great Lakes and embarked on their musical journey.
When most people think of Lord Huron, the slow dance scene in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why springs to mind; however Long Lost provides listeners with an opportunity to understand and enjoy the band’s art. Most of the tracks include a guitar-based sound that is reminiscent of Elvis and The Beach Boys, providing a vintage feel to the songs whilst not sounding like too far of a stretch from modern folk music.
The lyrics are simply worded but striking; “Mine Forever” features the most heart-rending lyrics of the album, “I don’t want to die but I can’t live without you / I’m much too young to die / So long, my love, goodbye / We will always be together”. Tracks like “Meet Me In The City”; “I Lied”, featuring Allison Ponthier, and “Where Did The Time Go” are enchanting highlights – but the single, “Long Lost”, is the true epitome of the album. It explores the idea of being lost in a time-stopping trance, overwhelmed by the beauty of the world.
Tarbell concludes his open letter as poetically as he started it with ‘’Time washes aways what man creates, but Long Lost might convince you that a note can live on’’ and he is right.
Lord Huron have created something more than just an album; Long Lost is a story pulling from old and new, that has the power to encompass anyone who gives it their time and attention.
Lord Huron’s Long Lost is available now on Whispering Pines Studios digitally, on cassette, on opaque custard blue or trad black 2xLP or single black LP; you can order yours from the band’s webstore or from Rough Trade.