Lord Huron “Long Lost” (2021)

     Sometimes people come in and out of our lives for inexplicable reasons.  One of the greatest gifts of my adult life is rekindling my friendship with my friend Mike.  We first met in McCowen Hall in 1985, as two clueless college freshmen trying to figure out life as “adults”.  Within this community, Mike became a part of a bigger pack of friends, most of whom came from one of three high schools in Colorado, Ponderosa, Smoky Hill and Boulder Fairview.  He joined our pack from Lewis Palmer in Monument, and from the get-go it was apparent Mike was one of the kindest, most generous and best individuals I was ever going to meet.  After we all somehow survived and escaped Greeley, we went in our different directions, and even though he remained close with Jim, we really had minimal interaction for 25+ years.  I don’t even know how or why we initially reconnected, but since that time, I am reminded every day why Mike is just about the best person and friend a person could ever hope to have.  When my son moved to Colorado, he was there on Day One with a truck and open arms, and he has continuously been there for both of us through it all.  He has even helped me to expand my circle of friends within his own world, and meeting his friend John, aka JMac, has served as another treasured friend and music lover who is now a part of my world.

     On top of all of his great traits as a person, he also is an avid music fan, with a rabid appetite for new sounds and inspirations.  His choices are provocative, thoughtful, and of the highest quality, and I learn something new from Mike every time we share music.  When I asked him to give me an album from 2021-2022 for this blog, more so than any other, I knew which album I was getting, as he has frequently shared this pick with me as his favorite album of 2021.  I also know him well enough to know that if it comes with that kind of high praise, it will not disappoint. 

     Like many of the artists he leads me to, I had never heard of the indie rock band Lord Huron before his introduction.  Looking at the album cover for “Long Lost”, my first guess was that it was metal, which would not have been an unreasonable assumption coming from Mike.  On the contrary, their sound is remarkably calm and soothing, and the entire album brings me peace, and who couldn’t use more of that in their life?

     After a brief intro track, the first full length song is “Mine Forever”, which is a great representation of their vibe.  The band is led by songwriter and singer Ben Schneider, and they have a very distinct feel that pulls from many influences.  I hear the Byrds, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Chris Isaak, and a multitude of other sounds that collide in this record.  “Love Me Like You Used To” has more of a country feel, and it feels like it would be a fantastic road trip tune.

     Of all the songs, I would rate the title track as my absolute favorite song on this album.  The melody is lush and haunting, and as Schneider’s vocals kick in, I’m transported to an empty cantina somewhere in the southwest desert, lost in the summer sky that never ends.  I love this airy, open sound and it will serve as my most enduring reminder of this musical gift from Mike.

     One more highlight I will call out is “I Lied”, featuring Allison Ponthier on duet vocals.  It is a sad song where two life partners celebrate the end of their relationship, but the world is not without heartache, and nothing captures that sense of loss better than a beautiful song.  The album ends with an instrumental blur of chords that runs a full fourteen minutes, on “Time’s Blur”. Again, it takes me back to the converging digital imagery at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, or a large but empty aquarium, and the sounds take hold of you in the most hypnotic manner.

     Words can’t always express how you feel about someone you love and care about in your life, but thankfully we have music to help us fill in the gaps.  Mike… I’m beyond grateful for your friendship and I look forward to a lifetime ahead of music, new sounds, new destinations, all bound by a common past experience few could possibly understand or believe.

Men In White (And Black)…

Published by tacopepper

A music fan...

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