ALIVE FROM WHISPERING PINES: EPISODE 3 OF 4 (VIRTUAL EVENT)
March 18, 2021
With each successive episode of Alive From Whispering Pines, Lord Huron leans more and more into the campy nature of its whimsical universe. In this month’s episode, host, Tubs Tarbell, played with pure conviction by Richard French, has been surviving a winter storm in the Whispering Pines recording studio, rationing canned food products such as “Bear Bits” and “Squirrel Squares”. The sense of humour is clearly intact on this go round. The band even teases a song only previously seen at live shows, before cutting out due to a “breaking news storm warning”, which of course cuts out almost the entire song. It’s a representation of the way Lord Huron has always worked, making incredibly compelling art, influenced by the very cheesy nature of our culture’s past.
This third episode features songs mostly from the band’s third record, the psychedelic-folk-rock Vide Noir from 2018. It’s no surprise that Vide Noir’s style lends itself well to this format. Lord Huron has established that this series is an opportunity to rejig old tunes, and this album is certainly the most musically dynamic and versatile. It’s the reason why, in this episode, tracks like “The Balancer’s Eye” can be retraced as a blues-rock performance. Even the eclectic “Moonbeam”, a song fans seem to either adore or despise, gets the acoustic treatment and blends more seamlessly into Lord Huron’s more traditional vibe.
Songs from their first two records also get the facelift treatment, here. “Dead Man’s Hand” takes desert rock to the campfire with a synth-driven melody. The ethereal “The Ghost On The Shore” is hauntingly played in the “outdoors” by “moonlight”, which is merely a corny set piece that looks exactly like what you’d expect a 1970s cable TV show set to look like. It has a slightly slower tempo that turns its original fairytale-like presentation into a subdued ballad.
To close the show, the band plays their quintessential tune, “The Night We Met”, which, arguably is where the band’s mainstream recognition arose, thanks to Netflix’s teen drama 13 Reasons Why. The song is not necessarily adapted to be different from the original, which feels like a wasted opportunity in this format, but the presence of lead singer Ben Schneider’s wife playing the harp adds a nice touch.
Interestingly, the third episode of Alive From Whispering Pines doesn’t do much to answer the questions posed in its previous episode and there isn’t as much external storyline to chew on as usual. Regardless, the music is what drives the show and it does so quite well in this instalment. Certainly, hearing the theremin/guitar combo of “Way Out There” begs a rewatch or two.
With the end of this episode, Lord Huron announces their fourth LP, Long Lost, which is set to release on May 21, along with it comes the release of the single “Mine Forever”, which premiered in the second episode of this series.