Lord Huron
Long Lost


5.0
classic

Review

by Sowing STAFF
May 22nd, 2021 | 243 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Life is short – love what you love.

I'm a terrible music critic. Sure, I can write fervently and convincingly about anything that deeply moves me, but I've never been great at tempering that enthusiasm to account for all the things that naturally diminish an album's impact over time. To me, music has always been tied to the moment: an album's worth isn't in its instrumental prowess, but in the emotional investment that it incurs. When I look back at my favorite albums, they're a product of both heartbreaking and joyous memories that I'll take to my deathbed. It doesn't matter whether it's intricate/progressive metal, or merely catchy pop-punk – if I can tag a core memory to it that no other piece of music can stake claim to, then it has carved out a permanent room in my heart. As I look back and add these experiences up, they're plentiful: proof of a life with numerous ups and downs that I can page through like a photo album simply by clicking "play."

Long Lost is the latest photo in that album, a slightly sun-faded image of me holding my two year old son while my wife cooks in the kitchen, singing along to the new Ruston Kelly album which spins on the record player pretty much constantly on weekends. When I was younger, I used to define life by its biggest moments; now I find comfort in the everyday. In that vein, Long Lost is going to be another album we wear out on weekends...I just know it. It's in part because my wife and I share an affinity for sweeping melodic folk, and also because the new Iosonouncane isn't exactly conducive to placid Saturdays in suburbia (also, I don't picture us singing along to it as a family any time soon). Music has become bigger than just me these days, and the more I can share an album with those around me, the more likely I am to look back at it fondly. After all, there are only so many memories that can be formed alone in my car, or confined to the PC in my basement jamming something dark/dissonant/profanity-laced while life goes on without me from above.

Lord Huron's latest is the opposite of that. It's not only their best (yes, even better than Lonesome Dreams), but also their lushest and most emotionally absorbing. Acoustic guitars shimmer like diamonds on the surface of a still lake, while Ben Schneider's melodic verses echo a magical blend of nostalgia and romance. Amid all of that beauty, passionate strings intertwine with each note like a gentle breeze which takes hold of his words and carries them aloft. Long Lost possesses the Earthly beauty of Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues, only it's even more serene – the open countryside to Pecknold's patented forests. Within these plains, Schneider alternates between contemplating every blade of grass and dropping his head back, letting go of everything, and just relinquishing his soul to the surrounding dome of blue above him. Atmospherically, Long Lost espouses the sort of breathtakingly effortless beauty that we tend to perceive as common (thanks in part to the genre pioneers who decades ago established the sound in the mainstream); yet, I can count on one hand the number of contemporary artists who write folk as aesthetically gorgeous and simultaneously memorable as Lord Huron does. I'm completely taken by this album already, and it's made an immediate imprint in my mind as I type this surrounded by loving family on the warmest day of the year; sun beams fading to-and-fro through the blinds as if to stir me from this beautiful dream that is Long Lost.

Back to my kitchen: I began playing Long Lost for my wife at the inception of this review, and we're on 'Drops in the Lake.' She has predictably loved every moment of it so far. My toddler danced in hilariously unsynchronized fashion to 'Mine Forever'. My wife just felt the new baby kick for the first time. Everything right now just feels awash in this surreal haze. It’s all glowing in the morning sunlight, and my mind is buzzing. 'Where Did The Time Go' echoes my own thoughts right now: "It's been delightful / May you laugh and sing your life full / May you learn the reasons why / May you live until you die." The moment is so perfect I almost feel like I could cry.

Maybe music shouldn't be this important. But to me, it just is. There's no writing about music without getting close and personal, and life is devoid of color without music to fill it in. I think that's why Long Lost has inspired me so; it's such a stunning album in every way that my mind can't help but drift to all the things that matter most to me. There was a time not so long ago when music was a lifeboat to deliver me from loneliness and depression; now it's a representation of everything in its right place – proof that things get better, proof that life does work out, and proof that I'm the luckiest person to stumble out of his own crippling introversion and accidentally find happiness. The penultimate 'What Do It Mean' is serenading me in the background, and these words just floated across the room: "All of the joy I've known / The ways I've grown / The loves I’ve shown my heart to / I'm going to get it together and live forevеr." Long Lost spoke to me in an almost intangible way from the moment I first laid ears upon it...now, the more I pick up on the lyrics and themes of the album, the more I realize that it was written for me – right now, in this precise blissful moment that I'll surely never forget – even as it comes from the mundanity of my living room. The fourteen minutes of beautiful ambience that is 'Time's Blur' just started, and the only thing I can think of saying right now is this: life is short – love what you love. For me, Long Lost will serve as a constant reminder to do exactly that.



s
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sowing
Moderator
May 22nd 2021


43734 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Metacritic: paragraph 3 has what you're looking for ;-)

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2021


5622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

On my second listen of this... Lord Huron has sort of grown off me over the years, although I still like all of their stuff to some degree. This might be their best, it's just so lush, but not feeling like anything mind-blowing either.

Lasssie
May 22nd 2021


1611 Comments


You droppin 5s like a madman! guess i will have to check this out later!

someone
May 22nd 2021


6281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

upvoted

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2021


4439 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

beautiful review Sowing! gave this a spin and absolutely adored the lush arrangements here, gonna give another spin tonight and decide whether I give this a 4.5 or just insta 5 it

Mutantsnowstorm
May 22nd 2021


514 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My girlfriend encouraged me to check this out, and maybe my taste isn't nearly as broad as I thought cause holy shit I've never heard something like this before in recent times; it mixes modern and vintage to the point where it feels timeless....is this what this guy's stuff always sounds like?



Great review as always sowing!

Sowing
Moderator
May 22nd 2021


43734 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If I were you I'd just enjoy this and let it sink in fully. But once you've had ample time with it, just go back to the debut and listen chronologically. It'll be worth your time.

nol
May 22nd 2021


11484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this is great

Chambered79
May 22nd 2021


1032 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what if i hate myself will i like this

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2021


4439 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Colton, I might just have to

nol
May 23rd 2021


11484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah this alb has a good bit of degen

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2021


2987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beautiful review [2]

parksungjoon
May 23rd 2021


46886 Comments


great one mate


>There was a time not so long ago when music was a lifeboat to deliver me from loneliness and depression

tfw

Sowing
Moderator
May 23rd 2021


43734 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

tyman, you have to start out by giving it a 2 and then make Colton cash in on favors for every 0.5 increase ;-)



"what if i hate myself will i like this"

Like Colton said I think there's enough versatility to this to get the "lonely, finding oneself" message from this as well. After all, the title of the album is Long Lost. That said, I def think this is more conducive to warm thoughts and happy memories.



Seeing MiloRuggles praise means a lot to me; admire your writing so thanks for the kind words. And thanks parksungjoon as well, we've been on a similar wavelength musically lately :-)



parksungjoon
May 23rd 2021


46886 Comments


i meant the review is great, havent heard the album yet [:

idk if im on a similar wavelength with anyone atm

Sowing
Moderator
May 23rd 2021


43734 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

haha well thanks, I'll take that anyway...much appreciated!

parksungjoon
May 23rd 2021


46886 Comments


the personal and emotional connection of music and the way music affects us in weird ways because we are weird complicated creatures ... is a little under-explored, under-discussed when it comes to anything that isnt pure nostalgia like "well it might not be a classic but this got me into [genre] when i was 14"

parksungjoon
May 23rd 2021


46886 Comments


granted i can see the flipside as well, it doesnt necessarily lend itself as well to analysis as an impersonal review

but its cool to have a variety of approaches and angles

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2021


9741 Comments


Lovely stuff sowing, really interesting read. I'm starting to get that way, gravitating towards stuff that can be played in the living room or kitchen without protest from my other half, rather than having to put the headphones on and shut myself off. But I do miss the m/...

Sowing
Moderator
May 23rd 2021


43734 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Very true. Everyone approaches music differently, too. I had a friend in college who would literally break down albums by riffs, solos, drumming, time signatures, et al and be repulsed by stuff that was overly simplified. There's definitely merit to that, if you have the knowledge and patience to consume music that detached.

For me I've always been an emotional listener rather than a technical listener; that isn't to say I don't recognize obvious talent, complexity of delivery, and unorthodox approaches - but they're secondary to how the music makes me feel. I've always been huge on lyrics, for instance. Not all that long ago I was a pretty depressed individual with very little going for me, and I think I could only relate to angsty and existential stuff (see: TDAG as a prime example). 2012 was a big turning point for me, and by 2015/2016-ish I could feel that the swing from pessimism to optimism was fully complete. It's led to a lot more 5's and stuff, but it's just because there's a warm energy to music that was never present before. I think when you're happier with yourself and your life, it's a lot easier to relate positively to the world around you...and that includes music.



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