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Lord Huron @ The Chrysalis at Merriweather Park Bully

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 Gates: 6:30 pm · Show: 7:30 pm $55

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Lord Huron

“Evoking wide-open vistas and the spirit of travel, American indie outfit Lord Huron emerged in the early 2010s on the heels of the indie folk boom, bringing together an expansive and dynamic blend of folk, rock, pop, and threads of Americana. Led by Michigan native Ben Schneider, the Los Angeles-based Lord Huron — who take their name from one of the five Great Lakes — found mainstream success in 2014 with the release of their lush, Western-inspired second album, Strange Trails, whose closing track, “The Night We Met,” reached an even larger audience in 2017 thanks to a key placement in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

A native of Okemos, Michigan, Schneider initially pursued a career in the visual arts, heading from college in Ann Arbor to New York and eventually to L.A. Originally conceived as a solo project, he began recording as Lord Huron in the spring of 2010 on a trip home to Michigan, recording a handful of songs inspired by his love of nature. These songs were later released as the Into the Sun EP, and Lord Huron was born. The songs quickly gained recognition and a band was assembled to flesh them out in a live setting. Lord Huron began performing as a band in August of 2010 and quickly began touring, developing their live show as they went. In November of 2010, a second EP, Mighty, was released, coupled with a video for the standout track “The Stranger.” The year 2011 was full of touring, with appearances at larger festivals like South by Southwest, Outside Lands, and Lollapalooza. At this point Schneider solidified his band lineup with childhood friends Mark Barry on drums, Brett Farkas on guitar, Miguel Briseno on bass, and Tom Renaud on guitar.

In January of 2012, Lord Huron signed with the independent label Iamsound Records and began work on their indie folk debut full-length, Lonesome Dreams, which was released later that year and led to an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After extensive touring, a second album, the Western-themed Strange Trails, was recorded in 2014 at Whispering Pines Studios in Los Angeles. It was released in early 2015 and hit the Top 25 in the U.S. and Canada. After the closing track, “The Night We Met,” got a high-profile spot in a dance scene on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why in 2017, the song charted in North America, Europe, and Australia. Republic Records took note and offered the band a record deal. Lord Huron‘s major-label debut, Vide Noir, hit shelves and streaming sites in April 2018, reaching the number ten spot on the Billboard 200 chart.” – Fred Thomas, AllMusic

Bully

In rock – as in life – change is unavoidable, often painful, but ultimately necessary, and Alicia Bognanno and her band Bully have dealt with a lot of it since their debut record Feels Like hit in 2015. Now with a new label and another couple years worth of life experience, the 12 new songs on Losing feel like perfect anthems for a generation still learning to harness the power of resistance. With a vocal style that is as pretty as it is powerful, and emotionally resonant lyrics, Alicia channels the loss of innocence and reveals a raw honesty in songs that are distinctly hers.

I love Bully the way I love Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr and the Breeders. Their sound takes me back to the stripped down and thoughtfully engineered songs that haunt me long after they’re gone and never get old. Another good reason to be with Sub Pop, who have always been associated with music that is built to last.

I feel like all my best work has been born of heartbreak and upheaval; maybe most musicians feel that way. “The title of the record – Losing – kind of says it all,” Alicia says. “After being on the road so long and coming back to Nashville we all had a lot of changes going on in our personal lives that we were trying to deal with / adjust to and that was really the motivation for this one.”

“Feel the Same” is about being stuck in the claustrophobia of a manic state of mind. It’s Alicia’s favorite song to scream. “Seeing It,” she says, is about the unique anxiety and vigilance about personal safety that comes with being a woman: “Such a blurring place to be / stuck in your own body.” Lately Alicia has been lending her voice as an advocate for gun control, women’s rights and speaking out in support of animal rights. In some ways my generation were in a bubble in the 90s; I never gave any thought to what Bill Clinton was up to, for instance – but in 2017, Losing sounds like a personal and necessary call to arms to me; we need rock n roll now more than ever.