Spotify Listen Link: The Lumineers – The Lumineers
2013 Grammy Nominations:
- Best New Artist
- Best Americana Album
This is a band that obviously hit mainstream music with one big hit, and we're all left wondering if there will be just as good follow ups. It is also a band to get very excited about, as they have managed to breakthrough with something pretty great and still slightly unique in today's music industry.
I'm trying to get back in to looking at band websites when intro-ing them. This one keeps it fairly classic and simple, mostly in black, white, and sepia. I'm most interested in their background, and obviously something was drawing me in because bandleader Wesley Schultz is from Ramsey, NJ, a suburb of NYC. They tried their hands up my way and it just was so cutthroat and unrelenting that they wound up packing it in and headed out to Colorado. Lucky bastards. He and Jeremiah got their cellist, Neyla, from craigslist, so go figure - dreams do come true on the Internet. They say that roots coming back to music have primed people to hear their music, hence their great fit in the business now.
"Flowers In Your Hair" seems to lightly ease us in with a very Mumford & Sons sound, though I guess the natural assumption is that this band is another version of them. How can you not sort of make that comparison? They do add in this drum beat that separates them out and gets your blood pumping just a little faster as the song goes on. Actually, I find myself smiling just a little more and more as it goes on. Fun times ahead. =)
We follow that up with the slightly-live sounding "Classy Girls." Seriously, there's background noise going on that makes the whole thing sound like it was recorded in a bar or the corner of a department store. It's a cute simple song I suppose. It does build up as well, which may or may not be their style - let's see where this takes us.
If you've heard "Hey Ho" (only a song away) you're already very familiar with the recording style used on this album. Yes, the echo and short stops are used frequently, including in this song, "Dead Sea." It's not a bad thing, it's just noticeable. There's a stringed instrument that comes in about halfway through this song though that adds a really classy element and depth to the music itself.
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"Hey Ho" may, quite possibly, be one of the sweetest songs ever written. I haven't even seen "Silver Linings Playbook" and I feel like it fits the mood perfectly, even just off of the trailers. It's got a fantastic tap-along beat, and the chorus is perfectly catchy without getting annoying. It's just an all-around impressive song and the band made an absolutely brilliant decision by putting it out as the first single. Brilliance.
"Stubborn Love" gives a nice transition back into the full band. If I'm not mistaken looking at the website, this is also the second single. It doesn't catch you as much musically like "Hey Ho," but there's a good general beat and the lyrics are something to take to heart. This is a song that comes across more like a conversation then a point to be made, which is kind of nice and relatable. Something' infectious here for sure.
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"Charlie Boy" has an old Irish folk song sound right off the bat. I could do without the echo, but will suffer through the less-than-wonderful vocal effects for the sake of music. Back to that folk tune point I was making. This is slow in every way, with the instrumentation just barely on as it goes along and a melody that simply goes up and down with little-to-now embellishments. I always speak too soon though - at around the 2:00 mark, things pick up ever so slightly with instruments drawing in a faster rhythm. And then it get slow again. And there go my feet being confused.
A little strange to have a song called "Morning Song" end an album. But it's slow-going and gives a solemn ending to the whole thing. It's nice background music, I have to say, but nothing terribly enlightening happening. Just a nice wind-down of sorts, playing us off into the night with their sweet folk style as we roll along.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Flowers In Your Hair"
- "Dead Sea"
- "Hey Ho"
- "Stubborn Love"
- "Big Parade"
Well folks, I'm sleepy, which I'm sure doesn't help anything when you're reviewing an album that moves slow and steady like this. It makes for nice end-of-the-night music, though getting much more than the two that are out played on mainstream radio could prove to be a little tough. However, given that that's probably not the ultimate goal here anyway, these guys should be just fine as long as everyone keeps listening to music.