By Ellen Chapman
Los Angeles-based indie folk band, Lord Huron, released their third LP Vide Noir on April 20. Not unlike the welcoming story-telling melodies of Strange Trails, Vide Noir tackles their signature folky/indie rock and imaginative sound in a new and much darker light.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Ben Schneider said he drew inspiration for the album after driving through Los Angeles at night.
“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,” Schneider said in an interview with “Blurred Culture.”
Lord Huron debuted this new album to the public for the first time on March 8, 2018 at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles. The show was a “make-up date” for a concert last year that was cancelled due to a medical emergency. When tickets went on sale for the general public, the show sold out within an hour.
The intimate venue was packed and excitement was high. The band debuted five songs off the new album: Ancient Names Part One, Ancient Names Part Two, Wait by the River, Never Ever, and Vide Noir. Sharing the same inventive narrative to Strange Trails, Vide Noir sheds a new layer of darkness and mystique with its dream-like eerie lyrical sparseness. The themes in the album convey mystery, adventure, and heartbreak.
To encourage fans to experience that adventure, Lord Huron launched “Follow the Emerald Star”,a mobile app plug-in which allowed fans to unlock songs off Vide Noir before its release by going to specific locations of “the Emerald Star.” This pushed fans to firsthand experience the exploration illustrated in Vide Noir while also upping the ante.
Vide Noir is French for ‘black void’ and the name illustrates the heartbreak and endless abyss which is described in almost every song on the album.
This is shown in tracks like “Lost in Time and Space” with lyrics like: “She went west to chase her dreams/but she didn’t take me.” In “The Secret of Life” the narrator questions his existence on earth, “And the life I’ve lived is only dust / The darkness comes for all of us.”
As an album, Vide Noir describes a runaway lover, the narrator questioning life and death with a cryptic emerald star looming over each track. It is possibly Lord Huron’s best and most inventive album to date.