Lord Huron’s brings ‘Strange Trails’ and vivid tales to Belly Up Aspen
If You Go …
What: Lord Huron with Leon Bridges
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Tuesday, April 21, 9 p.m.
Tickets: Belly Up box office; www.bellyupaspen.com
Hard-luck troubadours, men on the run and the dusty arroyos of western landscapes pepper the vivid songs of Lord Huron.
The Los Angeles-based band of Michigan transplants, led by singer-songwriter Ben Schneider, spins campfire tales in the folky compositions on its recently released sophomore album, “Strange Trails,” with a literary emphasis on character and setting.
“I tend to do a lot of background work on the stories I want to tell,” Schneider said form Los Angeles before launching a national tour that brings the band to Belly Up on Tuesday for its third Aspen performance. “Often a lot of it doesn’t make it in, but it give me more background and context.”
With a jaunty western folk flair and a rockabilly quiver occasionally inflecting Schneider’s voice, Lord Huron shapes cinematic, atmospheric songs like “The World Ender,” narrated by a cursed man out for vengeance. They’re the stuff of dime-store novels: tales of revenge, doomed love, with dashes of science fiction and horror, gaining melodic steam and narrative tension as they hum along.
The immersive world-building of the 14 songs on “Strange Trails” owe a debt to Schneider’s background in visual art. He’s continued his multimedia art practice to complement Lord Huron’s music with a comic book series, album cover art, websites and short films – even an interactive phone number is in the works – that extend the stories in the songs.
“It’s about these varying levels of engagement,” said Schneider. “If you just want to listen to the songs, that’s fine, but if you’re interested in where those stories lead you can dig a little deeper.”
The artists Schenider most closely admires are filmmakers like Terrence Malick and Quentin Tarantino, songwriters like the Wu-Tang Clan and Bob Dylan – they may have divergent aesthetics but they do what Lord Huron aims to do: draw you into an aesthetic dimension of their making.
“You can really inhabit their world for the time you’re enjoying their art,” said Schneider.
Lord Huron began as a solo project, with Schneider recording its first two EPs on his own. As he started going on the road, he recruited childhood friends to fill out the band and make Lord Huron’s first full-length album, 2012’s “Lonesome Dreams.”
The four-piece band has been touring relentlessly over the last few years, building a substantial national buzz and honing their live show.
They’re currently touring with the much-talked-about young soul singer Leon Bridges (“Coming Home”), who opens Tuesday’s show at Belly Up.
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