Don’t Miss Lord Huron’s Intimate KCRW Apogee Session on July 30th, 2018 PREVIEW: Lord Huron @ Apogee Studio 7/10/18
SANTA MONICA, CA- Tucked away in a flat semi industrial section of Santa Monica is a small jewel in the crown of Los Angeles’ Music scene. Bob Clearmountain’s Apogee Studios recently played host to an intimate evening with Lord Huron in the ongoing Apogee sessions for KCRW’s Morning Becomes Electric.
I was ready, willing and able to get out of the uncommonly hot and humid LA evening and join the lucky few with a rare opportunity to get really up close and personal with this eclectic band. Inside the cool red surroundings of Apogee Studios, I was transported on a moody and evocative journey with this intense group of musicians who make up Lord Huron.
Hosted by Jason Bentley for KCRW, the evening was split into two sets and included selections from their new album Vide Noir. The album’s title itself will give some insight into the mood and content of this darkly introspective and thoughtful mix of tracks. The crowd was a little in awe to begin with and the energy felt diffused by the close proximity of the band. Fans didn’t know whether to whoop and holler or simply lay back and chill, but as the songs kept coming, the crowd warmed to their task and helping to raise the aura in the room.
Lord Huron was founded by Ben Schneider and he was joined by his long time collaborators and touring cohorts Mark Barry on Drums, Thomas Renaud on Guitar, Miguel Briseno on Bass, Brandon Walters on Guitar and the only female member of the band April Boyce, playing keys and adding her sultry vocals to the mix.
In between two six-song sets, we got some insight into the inspirations for the music. Lead singer and guitarist Ben Schneider talked at length with KCRW’s Jason Bentley about his sense of mortality, and this is clear in the lyrics and vibes on display. Schneider’s quiet and unassuming in person and almost shy with his audience as he plays. I was intrigued to learn that many of the inspirations come from his walks around the city of LA. Sure I’m paraphrasing, but he was quick to point out that as Angelinos we all drive around the city but never really see it. Guilty as charged! The current album proves he took a long long walk and drunk in all the sights and sounds of this vibrant city fusing them together in the darkly evocative tracks of this new Lord Huron album.
One song into the evening I stepped back from the center of the crowd to take it all in and enjoy the experience of the audience too, as they listened avidly. Even at the back on the studio space I was never farther away than 25 feet from the band and their familiarity with each other is evident. Several of them have been playing together since middle school and the entire outfit is very much in sync with each other creating a tight musical meld.
The songs selections takes us on a journey from the bluesy and flirtatious retro feel of WAIT BY THE RIVER to a seemingly rockabilly influenced intimate and methodical track SECRET OF LIFE. There is something for everyone on this album with myriad influences. I was taken by WHEN THE NIGHT IS OVER. The somewhat psychedelic feel succumbs to a rocking drive that keeps you moving. There were two exceptions to an evening of new music stepping back to two older tracks from previous work. The tight and well rehearsed MEET ME IN THE WOODS and THE WORLD ENDER, which has a great retro feel, are both crowd pleasers.
The evening grew to a crescendo exploding with their final track ANCIENT NAMES, which drives you back against the wall with its driving friction.
No set is complete without an encore, and they did not disappoint, wrapping up this party with THE NIGHT WE MET the song that brought them acclaim on the seminal Netflix series “13 reasons Why”
If you’re planning a road trip anytime soon stock up on their new album. Vide Noir They champion a bluesy folk and rock influenced methodical feel that will catapult you down the highway towards a dark and foreboding place.
KCRW’s Apogee Sessions with Lord Huron will broadcast and stream on Morning Becomes Eclectic Monday July 30th, 2018. You can watch the session at https://www.kcrw.com/music/apogeestudio.