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Lonesome Dreams ()

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Following two low-profile EPs, Lonesome Dreams is the debut from Michigan-born/Los Angeles-based sound sculptor Ben Schneider and his band Lord Huron. The wide-open pastoral feel of the album seems designed to calm the ongoing argument happening with Schneider's songwriting sensibilities, which seem conflicted between jubilant indie pop wanderlust and stoic traditionally structured Americana. The album opens with "Ends of the Earth," a jaunty and triumphant song filled with imagery of rivers, mountains, and arid desertscapes. As well constructed as the song is, it follows pretty closely the open-ended indie folk style of Fleet Foxes, My Morning Jacket, and the like. However, as soon as the song fades out, "Time to Run" begins with watery field recordings of bells and washy synth tones before bursting into a jubilant slice of acoustic pop owing equal parts to Animal Collective's happy-go-lucky freaked sounds and Paul Simon's Afro-pop-borrowing optimism. The song is beyond catchy and beyond happy, bounding along ecstatically between huge choruses, friendly verses, and experimental found sound breakdowns. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi Hide synopsis

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