Such is the strange state of affairs in music these days that, while Lord Huron is about to release its first LP in the U.S. on 9th October, the UK gets a semi-related EP the day before; even though, thanks to streaming and downloading, an album is available in most countries as soon as its available in one.
So while U.S. music websites are spinning out reviews of Lonesome Dreams, those in the UK, like this one, are tackling Time to Run, an EP that comprises two tracks from the LP (and a radio edit of one of them) plus two from previous EPs, both of which are already streamable and downloadable online, if you're willing to skirt (plenty are) certain legalities. Even if you aren't, you can listen to a few of the tracks on Lord Huron's own website.
To that end, saying something about Lord Huron and the Time to Run EP is a bit like saying something that's already been said, but that people didn't quite hear – it's not like this music has seriously done the rounds, but if you've come across the name before as a result of those EPs then you might already have an inkling of an impression.
Combine that with the familiarity and fashion of their sound – if you want a kind of shorthand for what you'll hear when you hear Lord Huron, think of a poppier Fleet Foxes song, choose a track by Arcade Fire circa The Suburbs, and throw in a bit of Vampire Weekend – and listening to Lord Huron might seem like a sort of musical déjà vu.
Those comparisons might flatter or flatten Lord Huron, depending on your view. Sometimes, particularly with that sense of déjà entendu, it's hard to separate a sense of liking-by-association (or disliking, depending on your opinion of the bands Lord Huron is being compared with here) from an understanding of a piece of music making its own claim to a lasting and definitive experience.
Making a decision about something like that can take years. But this much can be said: everything on Time to Run is worth listening to. From the title track – both versions: a radio edit and the album version from Lord Huron’s imminent LP – and its deliciously catchy melody to the childlike bop of 2010's 'We Went Wild', there’s quality here. 'The Man Who Lives Forever', also from the LP, rocks back and forth on a set of percussive motifs including infectious hand claps, and is strangely anthemic; 'The Stranger', from a different 2010 EP slips and slides right into your memory and catches you humming it without even realising.
Everything on Time to Run is like that. The genus for the EP might be a little odd, chronology-wise, and it might be a big task to separate Lord Huron from a crop of its soundalikes; but regardless, Time to Run is a really interesting, tight and above all fun EP that will do as much to show off Lord Huron's talents across five tracks as Lonesome Dreams will over ten. And besides, when was a familiar sound in an unfamiliar setting ever a bad thing?