Visualized: Lord Huron
Lord Huron came riding in on a westbound wind the summer of 2010, with the debut EP Into The Sun. Ben Schneider started out nice and easy, recording all his own sounds on at least the first of his two EPs. His music is rich and eclectic, rounding up influences from all over the world and expertly weaving them together into a solitary sound, that bounds like the Rocky Mountains and rolls like the waves of the tropical islands. He’s been at it for over two years now, and the fruit of his labor has come to fruition with the arrival of his debut full-length.
Lonesome Dreams is set to release October 9th on IAMSOUND. And luckily for us, Schneider had a little more in mind with this one. With his background in visual art, Lord Huron‘s art has always been distinct and beautiful, and Lonesome Dreams is no exception. It may very well be an exception in that it is a cut above the rest. The amazing art for it ranges from original vintage cinematic trailers coinciding with each track, to sketches, to old unearthed novels from an unheard author, to short film-like music videos. All of it in a distinct western style, taking us back to a simpler, more adventurous time. A time perfectly befitting the sounds on Lonesome Dreams.
I got to catch up with Ben, and I asked him to lay out for us some of the ideas behind the art, and why it was important to him give such a dynamic visual aesthetic to accompany the album. Read what Ben had to tell us and take a look at some of the awesome work below.
I approached ‘Lonesome Dreams’ as a series of frontier stories, an anthology of pulp western tales. Living out west, sometimes I feel like I’m in one of those old stories that I grew up reading. I wanted to look at my life, and lives close to me, through that lens.
I always develop visual material in tandem with the tunes. This time around, I think that process really helped shape the way the record turned out. I was able to explore the songs and stories in a number of forms. As a painting, as words on a page, as a movie trailer, as a drawing, as a series of stories by an obscure western author. I think that helped me figure out what I wanted to communicate, and hopefully helps tie everything together. Of course, the music is at the core of the project and should stand on it’s own, but I’ve always really loved an immersive story that I can get lost in. I wanted to create a broader narrative for folks that are interested in going down that path. Though I like to write, I don’t claim to be a fiction writer. I had to enlist George Ranger Johnson for that. I see him as an underappreciated author ala Kilgore Trout. Clearly I found a lot to take from his work.
With the videos, we’re starting to venture into movie making. Because of all the background we’ve created, turning the stories into short movies feels really natural. It’s like we have all of this source material to draw from. Hopefully we’ll be making several more of those. So long as time allows.
Thanks so much Ben and Lord Huron! Don’t forget to pick up Lonesome Dreams at IAMSOUND on October 9th.
(curated by Smoke Don’t Smoke)