One of the strangest and most unique bands is the American indie folk band Lord Huron based in Los Angeles. Founded by Ben Schneider, the name of the band is a tribute to Lake Huron where the Michigan native spent many of his summers growing up where he spent evenings at the lake playing music around the campfire. Schneider began writing music in his hometown of Lansing, Michigan and went on to study visual arts at the University of Michigan, finishing his degree in France before moving to New York City where he worked as an artist. In 2005, Schneider moved to LA. In 2010, Schneider formed Lord Huron as a solo project, recording his first few EPs entirely on his own and steadily adding old friends as members to help play in live shows.
Schneider had a love for western adventure novels when growing up and the music sounds much like music that might have accompanied these old western novels. But the music is difficult to categorize. Yes, there is part country in it but also swing and rock. The musical influences of Schneider are wide and varied from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Beach Boys. Probably one of the closest that Schneider’s voice sounds like is Chris Isaak known for his signature 1950s rock & roll style and his falsetto and reverb-laden music.
The band has created a western mythology around them with fictional characters who tell their stories as well as a recording studio called Whispering Pines. The music videos that accompany the songs of Lord Huron are works of art in themselves like the “End of the Earth” above. To see some more fascinating music videos from Lord Huron see the YouTube link on Lord Huron.
The group’s debut album, Lonesome Dreams, was was released in 2012 in the US. With the release of Lonesome Dreams, the band also slowly released a series of music videos, all filmed in a western ’70s style, which Schneider says was the focal point and narrative for the album. “We had this fun idea that Lonesome Dreams was kind of this series of old adventure tales.” In an interview, Schneider alluded to influence from a specific work, called The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by famed novelist Michael Ondaatje published in 1970. “It’s sort of a collection of pulp fiction and we wanted the videos to kind of reflect that and have that same feel and style,” Schneider said during another interview. They also decided to release a theatrical version of the videos.
The band released their second album Strange Trails on April 6, 2015. The song “The Night We Met” off Strange Trails has been streamed over 700 million times.Their third album, Vide Noir, was released on April 20, 2018. Many of the songs on the album were influenced by Schneider driving around Los Angeles late at night. Their fourth album Long Lost will be released in May 2021.