New Finds: The Lumineers
The Lumineers and I are old friends – at least that's how I feel when I listen to their intimate take on grassroots meets folk rock. With each candid ballad, The Lumineers tell a story of love and life and loss, as though they are confiding in me personally – inviting me to take solace in plotlines with which I'm all too familiar.
The Denver trio, by way of Brooklyn, has been garnering nationwide attention at staggeringly rapid rate in the last six months, and it is no mystery as to why. Their homely sound knows no boundaries amongst diverse audiences. In the last year, they have toured from coast to coast, making waves most recently at this year's CMJ festival in New York City.
As their name suggests, they illuminate the humanity in their listener – revealing their vulnerabilities as much as their strengths. The Lumineers are like the old friend who knows you better than you know yourself – offering optimism and consolation set to a melody you can't help but sing along with.
Each of their homespun songs is rich with coed harmonies featuring all three members - Wesley Schultz (vocals/guitar/piano), Neyla Peckarek (cello, piano, mandolin, vocals), and Jeremiah Fraites (percussion, yells), as well as an abundance of brilliant instrumentation.
After hearing "Ho Hey," possibly their most popular song to date, it becomes abundantly clear that the gifted trio is not trying to impress you with an acerbic wit or hide behind intricate metaphors or euphemisms. Their lyrics are honest and their work as a whole, unpretentious. Maybe it's the tambourine or the egg shaker, maybe it's the foot stomping or the clapping, or maybe it's the call and response effect of the "ho hey," either way I am genuinely dismayed when this song ends. Fortunately, that is why they make a replay button.
When facing adversity, The Lumineers implore you to "keep your head up, keep your love," over and over during the track, "Stubborn Love." What would normally sound like the trite soundtrack to an after school special actually resonates with you - thanks to the sincerity in Wesley's vocals and the uplifting melody saturated with booming percussion and the lighthearted presence of the mandolin.
Simply put, The Lumineers make you feel good. Each one of their heartfelt numbers is chock-full of sage, yet simplistic nuggets of wisdom that beg to be stitched on a pillow. Among them, "It's a long road to wisdom, but it's a short one to being ignored," and "It's better to feel pain than nothing at all; the opposite of love is indifference."
Their first full-length record is set to release early in the new year, and I for one have never anticipated a debut album more. In the meantime, you can find their 2009 self-titled EP at most digital media outlets.
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