Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2012-03-11“I headed West I was a man on the move/New York had lied to me I needed the truth.” These lyrics kick off the second verse of “Dead Sea” by the Denver trio The Lumineers on their self-titled debut album. While these simple words may serve as a reference to the band’s beginnings, the totality of their debut speaks volumes about their future. The unique vocals of lead singer Wesley Schultz and the foot stomp-inducing percussion of Jeremiah Fraites carry this excellent debut album. While the feel-good vibe of songs like “Ho Hey” and “Big Parade” lifts the spirits of devout fans at the band’s live shows, it was sorrow that first led the pair to find solace in music. Playing music together in the clubs of New York helped ease the pain from the loss of Schultz’s best friend and Fraites’s older brother to a drug overdose at the young age of 19. Unfortunately, the difficulty of making ends meet in the competitive music scene of New York led the pair West with hopes that their brand of stomp and clap acoustic folk would gain a stronger foothold in the Rockies. “When we were young, we did enough/When it got cold, we bundled up/I can’t be told, it can’t be done.” The bridge from “Stubborn Love” describes the hopefulness, perseverance and hard work that have led the Lumineers to the brink of stardom. Upon arriving in Denver, the band added cellist Neyla Pekarek (who later expanded her talents to the mandolin and piano), self-recorded an EP and self-booked a tour across the Western US and back to the East Coast. The infectious energy of their live shows have won them fans and praise from publications such as Paste Magazine, which lists the album as one of the 25 most anticipated of 2012. While this energy is appropriately captured on the tracks “Classy Girls” (2), recorded to sound as if it’s being performed live, “Submarines” (3), “Ho Hey” (5), “Stubborn Love” (7), and “Big Parade” (8), the band also offers the heart-felt ballads “Dead Sea” (4) and “Slow it Down” (6). History also finds its place on “Charlie Boy” (9), an emotional song about a soldier sent off to fight in the Vietnam War, and “Flapper Girl” (10), which would seem right at home being sung at a speakeasy during Prohibition. The Lumineers’ debut will have listeners tapping along on the first spin and music fans who like to be first among their peers to discover an up and coming band should mark April 3rd on their calendars and give this one a try. FCC Alerts – None. Highlights – Submarines (3), Dead Sea (4), Ho Hey (5), Stubborn Love (7), Big Parade (8). Reviewed by Brian Hartl
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