“Oh, there’s a river that winds on forever/I’m gonna see where it leads,” begins Lord Huron’s debut LP, campfire strumming and robust vocal harmonies ghosted by tuneful howls somewhere between cowboy yodels and coyote bays. Ben Schneider’s soaring folk-rock project conjures a life unfettered and outside of time – roads and rivers wind, a man wanders beneath trees (“She Lit a Fire”) or imagines sitting by a lake “for a thousand years” (“In the Wind”). The palette is broad, with layered guitars, harmonica and saloon piano tinged with gamelan-style percussion (“Brother”) and Asian-flavored melodies (“Setting Sun”), all serving an impressionist Wild West cosmology that includes Schneider’s visual art and film work. It’s ambitious, beguiling stuff. “Forget all your troubles,” he sings on “Lullabye” – the prettiest track on an album fat with beauty – inviting the listener to “dream of laughter and old friends and lovers,” and giving you the tools to do it.
Listen to “Brother”: