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XPoNential Fest: Lord Huron soars above the Marina Stage

Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Photo by Michelle Montgomery

Indie folk band Lord Huron played the Marina Stage at the XPoNential Music Festival and earned a spot in the hearts of festival attendees. Lead by vocalist and guitarist Ben Schneider, the Los Angeles based group opened the late afternoon set with “Ends of the Earth.” They then moved to the title song off their latest record, a romantic and upbeat track which smoothly blurs the lines between pop and folk. For “We Went Wild,” a tune which features twangy guitars and a borderline tribal rhythm, Schneider switched to drums and encouraged the wild clapping of the audience. “Time to Run” (one of the bands’s most popular tracks) soared above the seated crowd and was a clear favorite. The closing song, “The Stranger,” earned an extended play and a standing ovation – and with that, it was clear that Lord Huron has won itself a enthusiastic and devoted following. Their most recent album, Lonesome Dreams, was released in October, 2102. See photos of the performance in the gallery below and read the setlist after the jump.

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Watch Lord Huron’s new video for “Lonesome Dreams” (playing Firefly Festival on June 21-23)

LordHuronPart Kon-Tiki, part Treasure Island, the new video for Lord Huron‘s “Lonesome Dreams” (premiered by NPR’s All Songs Considered) further explores the alternate universe frontman Ben Schneider has built around his moniker.  This alternate universe orbits the works of fictitious author George Ranger Johnson, an adventure novelist conjured up by Schneider and on whose Odyssean books the songs of Lonesome Dreams were “based.”

According to Schneider, the storyline of the new video is inspired by “the first installment of George Ranger Johnson’s adventure series of the same name. It chronicles Huron’s first encounter with Admiral Blaquefut and the beginning of their epic journey and friendship. We tried our damnedest to capture the themes and the spirit of the novel.”  But this isn’t the first time we’re meeting protagonist Lord Huron – we ran through a desert with him last summer in the video for “Time to Run.”

Lord Huron will join Tom Petty, The Lumineers, Jim James and more at the Firefly Music Festival presented by WXPN on June 21-23 in Dover, DE.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Watch the video for “Lonesome Dreams” below.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. The Stray Birds, Local Natives, Lord Huron

With their debut full-length Almost Endless released this past week, Philly new-wave / rock outfit The National Rifle were the featured topic for this week’s Unlocked series here on The Key.  The new album takes the band’s sound in a new direction with it’s polished overtones, which you can learn more about here and here.  Below, stream and download “Street Burn.”

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My Morning Download: “End of The Earth” by Lord Huron (from a new limited time only World Cafe sampler)

Lord Huron did an interview and performance on World Cafe with David Dye last November, 2012. You can listen to the session here. Below, download “Ends Of The Earth” from that session. The song is from a new collection of Cafe performances available for a very limited time during the month of February. Each weekday during the month World Cafe will offer one free song from a recent session. By February 22 there will be 20 new exclusive songs for you to enjoy. Here’s the catch: They are ONLY going to be available for the month, on March 1 they will disappear like Spring snow! Below, download the Lord Huron song; Go here to download tracks from Calexico, Allen Stone and others.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Download: Lord Huron get sentimental with “Auld Lang Syne”

By now, we all know and love L.A. dream / folk group Lord Huron.  The Ben Schneider-led band released their debut Lonesome Dreams LP this year, an album that became a favorite of XPN listeners thanks to the rhythmically catchy single “Time to Run.”  To close out their banner year and welcome 2013, Lord Huron have recorded a version of “Auld Lang Syne.”  Stream and download the track below via the band’s Soundcloud, and listen back to the band’s World Cafe session with David Dye from last month here.

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Interview: Lord Huron’s Ben Schneider on broke-down cars and old west movies (playing Kung Fu Necktie tonight)

Taking a glance at the breadth of audio/visual elements in Lord Huron’s newest album Lonesome Dream, it is hard to imagine that brainchild Ben Schneider gets much sleep. The fully realized Western is both surreal and familiar. Every image is barrel-aged as the music wanders through deserts and mountains. We caught up with Ben to chat during what sounded like a pretty hellish drive, but he was a trooper and gave off nothing but good vibes. Barring any more van issues they will be playing Kung Fu Necktie tonight, so come check out this band before they blow up.

The Key: So where are you right now?

Ben Schneider: We are on an epic drive from Austin to Kentucky. Our van broke down in Kentucky a few days ago. We had to leave it there with most of our gear, and continue on with a couple rental cars for a few days. Our next show is in Atlanta, but instead of going straight to Atlanta, we have to go back to Kentucky, pick up our van, and then go to Atlanta, so we just drove through the night..

TK: That sounds like a major bummer.

BS: (laughs) It’s not that bad, we didn’t miss any of our shows, which is great. We’re going to get the van back today so we’re pretty happy about that, and I’m looking forward to finally changing my clothes, which sounds good.

TK: Where on your hand are you from in Michigan?

BS: Well I grew up kind of on the palm, but I spent a lot of my time, and my summers, up on the tip of the middle finger.

TK: Up where Lake Huron is?

BS: Yeah, exactly.

TK: It’s been a couple years since the release of your EP’s. What’s been going on? Has the album Lonesome Dreams been recorded for a while?

BS: Yeah. We’ve mostly been touring over the last couple years, slowly writing and recording the record. We finished recording the record in April or so, so just waiting for the label to release is since then. It’s been kind of a long process writing and recording. I spent a lot of time demoing it and then we went into the studio earlier this year. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Das Racist at Union Transfer, Lord Huron at Kung Fu Necktie

Photo by Jackie Roman
Postmodern hiphop outfit Das Racist made a splash a few years back with their bizarre, clever, infectious blog smash “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” (Not familiar? Give it a listen and try to get it unstuck from your head.) The group has kept plugging away, getting profiled by The New Yorker in 2010 (where its band name was clarified – “‘Das’ is a slurred ‘That’s,’ not the German article”) and releasing its first official full-length, Relax, last year. Its continuing tour in support of Relax brings Das Racist to Union Transfer tonight; the all-ages show begins at 8 p.m., admission is $15, tickets and information are available here. Below, check out “Michael Jackson” from Relax.

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Listen to the debut album from Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams, via NPR Music, (WXPN Welcomes to Kung Fu Necktie Monday, October 8th)


Lord Huron is a Los Angeles based band fronted by singer-songwriter and artist Ben Schneider. Listening to the band’s music one is magically swept into a dreamy world influenced indie island pop, Fleet Foxes harmonies, and Graceland styled grooves. Over several gorgeous EP’s and now with the band’s debut, Lonesome Dreams, they’ve realized a unique musical voice. The album is being released Tuesday, October 9th. WXPN Welcomes Lord Huron to Kung Fu Necktie on Monday, October 8th; it’s a show you don’t want to miss. You can listen to Lonesome Dreams here via NPR Music.

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Watch a new music video for Lord Huron’s “Time to Run” (playing Kung Fu Necktie in October)

Up-and-coming indie rock band Lord Huron seems to gravitate towards expansive, magical settings for their cinematic music videos. The band’s first video – for the song “The Stranger” – was a surreal murder mystery set on the desolate shores of Lake Huron, near band leader Ben Schneider’s Michigan stomping grounds. The new video for “Time to Run,” the single from their forthcoming album Lonesome Dreams, is a western set in the desolate Mojave desert, suggesting the band’s current base of operations in Los Angeles. The song was a My Morning Download last month, and you can still get an mp3 of it here. Want to hear more? The band plays Kung Fu Necktie on Oct. 8, and Lonesome Dreams is in stores on Oct. 9.

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My Morning Download: “Time To Run” by Lord Huron (playing Kung Fu Necktie in October)


The Los Angeles based Lord Huron is the band created by singer-songwriter Ben Schneider. Schneider was born in Michigan, studied art in college and lived in France and New York before moving to Los Angeles in 2005. In May 2010, Schneider traveled home to Michigan and spent a week on the shores of Lake Huron where he recorded the three songs that would comprise the Into the Sun EP that came out in June, 2010, followed by his second EP, Mighty, in November, 2010. Since the release of Schneider’s debut EP, Lord Huron has garnered a critical following in the music blogosphere for his tropical flavored, rhythmically fluid and atmospheric songs that are reminiscent of Paul Simon’s sweeping beauty, The Rhythm of the Saints. Lord Huron’s debut full length album Lonesome Dreams is being released on October 9th on I Am Sounds. Lord Huron plays at Kung Fu Necktie on Monday, October 8th. Below, download “Time To Run.”

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company