Vide Noir is French phrase, which translates more or less directly to “Black Void.” Not that the translation will be necessary of anyone who gives Lord Huron’s latest a spin. Their intent is pretty clearly stated throughout Vide Noir. Here is an album that grapples with the heaviest themes imaginable: life, love, and the ultimate impossibility of either in the face of an endless, uncaring void, and emerges without answers. If that all sounds a little maudlin, well, it is.
However, Lord Huron cover the whole ordeal in such a shiny wrapper that it’s hard to be overwhelmed by the bitterness of what’s inside. Vide Noir is an existential crisis, sure, but one that you can dance to, nod along to, zone out to; it’s an album that is as rewarding on the fourth or fifth listen as it is on the first, and one that absolutely positions Lord Huron for a big break.
Not that Lord Huron isn’t known already. Vide Noir is their third studio offering, following 2015’s Strange Trails and their 2012 debut Lonesome Dreams. “Fool for Love” became a minor hit for them off of Strange Trails, as did “The Night We Met” by way of the Netflix show Thirteen Reasons Why. The sound they established on their early albums, which might be best described as “atmospheric twang,” has been deepened, refined, and occasionally abandoned for this latest outing. Though the band is certainly recognizable from what came before, Vide Noir is a boldly experimental album. It gives the sense that Lord Huron are pushing themselves to their creative limit, the results of which are often breathtaking.