I first heard of The Lumineers from my childhood friend Marcie’s husband, Joe. Growing up, if you wanted to find out about new, non-mainstream music, Marcie was your girl. So, it didn’t surprise me that she married a man who shared her steadfast love for the musical chase. Tracking down unique artists that don’t get radio play can be fun and rewarding, and those two have certainly perfected the hunt (and I gladly reap the benefits!).
Joe directed me to The Lumineers’ Daytrotter four-song set, and I was immediately drawn to front man Wesley Schultz’s soulful down-home voice. Schultz’s rustic vocals were balanced by the boisterous hollers of drummer Jerimiah Fraites and the softer harmonies of cellist/pianist Neyla Pekarek. Their lyrics were simple, but blew through me like a warm breeze through a hilltop willow tree — no resistance, complete surrender. Their voices mingled effortlessly with the rhythmic stomp-clap cadence of their songs, producing a back-yard sing-a-long sound rooted in folk and Americana and pleasing to the ears.
Naturally — as I tend to do with all new music that moves me — I kept their Daytrotter sessions on repeat for quite some time. Fortunately, their self-titled debut album was officially released today. The eleven-track album can be streamed directly from the band’s website. While tracks are riddled with vocal tones of Englishmen Rod Stewart and David Gray, New Jersey native Schultz successfully manages to take his sound and story in a fresh direction. The listener’s journey through the Lumineers’ debut album is full of emotional ups and downs, as I am sure the band intended. The opening track, Flowers in Your Hair, reminds us of how quickly time passes on the road to growing old. Dead Sea speaks to love lost, while Ho Hey presents us with a hopeful heart. Stubborn Love chooses the painful pitfalls of love over the emptiness of indifference, while Big Parade scoffs at the pomp and circumstance that envelopes our culture. The Lumineers are storytellers, and their stories seem all too familiar to anyone who has ever suffered or soared in love — must be why I can’t stop listening.
Check out their new album, and jump on this bandwagon while there is still room. Seats are sure to fill up quickly.