ALIVE FROM WHISPERING PINES: EPISODE 4 OF 4 (VIRTUAL EVENT)
April 29, 2021
Lord Huron’s four-part livestream series came to a close last night – a bittersweet ending to a very unique and compelling show. Alive… From Whispering Pines episode four (or ‘426’ as the host denotes) featured new renditions of some of the band’s most notable work, interspersed with host, Tubs Tarbell, reminiscing about the studio’s past.
It has become clear that this series’ intention has been to precede a fourth studio album and set the stage for incorporating the new music into Lord Huron’s tangential folklore.
Seemingly, this new record intends to imagine the fictional history of the real Whispering Pines studio, and Alive accomplishes this with its final episode. Specifically, the new track, “I Lied”, featuring the swooning vocal addition of Allison Ponthier, is claimed to be a song performed at the studio’s inception, originally by ‘Donny & Midge’, though now channeled by Ben Schneider and the aforementioned Ponthier. Fans are treated to a live performance of the new ballad, backdropped by sunset-toned mountains and the members of Lord Huron playing their various instruments in their finest attire.
While the story doesn’t feel incredibly fleshed out overall in this go, the show’s performances keep the momentum up. The folk-pop “Cursed”, from sophomore record Strange Trails, is successfully reimagined as a bluegrass ballad, toned in black & white. Vide Noir’s garage rocker, “Ancient Names Part II”, is thrust into the 80s with keyboards replacing heavy drums while the lyrics pop up below in full karaoke style. Fan favourite “Ends of the Earth” & “La Belle Fleur Sauvage” are left mostly unchanged for the sake of nostalgia, but both excel as highlights of the night. The most interesting performance, however, is a synth-laden rendition of “We Went Wild”. Typically a drum-heavy folk song, this new reimagining turns the track into a dreamy soundscape that breathes entirely new life into it.
Performances like “We Went Wild” highlight exactly why Alive… From Whispering Pines has managed to be such a treat for the Lord Huron die hards. It has been an opportunity for the band to channel a new form of creativity amidst the pandemic and is a testament to the label’s confidence in their loyal fanbase. While the first episode remains the best for the sheer fact that the multimedia seemed most well-constructed, there are certainly going to be calls to return to this format in future and, at the very least, a release of these new live renditions of their now large library of tunes. As Tarbell would say, “until then, may you live until you die.”