Vulnerable. Honest. Heart-on-the-sleeve. The Lumineers’ particular sound will grab you and take you somewhere few of us allow ourselves to go – to that exposed part of your heart that’s just aching for someone to put words to the way it feels to love, to lose and to let go.
Bandleader Wesley Schultz lost his best friend at 19 from a drug overdose. He found solace in music, along with his late friend’s younger brother, Jeremiah Fraites. Their passion for the art form was born out of heartache, but that passion helped to heal and eventually grew to writing songs and playing gigs and trying to make it in the cutthroat music scene of New York City.
In 2011, the trio released a self-produced album, booked themselves a tour and headed out to bring their stomp-and-clap sound to the masses. Their front-porch-folk take on love and life is perfectly timed for the roots revival of the last few years; listeners are hungry for a new generation of emotion in music, where souls are laid bare and production is stripped down to a few instruments and clear, strong voices.Hoping for a fresh start, but not wanting to give up their music, the two packed up and headed to Denver. Once there, they placed an ad on Craigslist for a cellist, and the first person to answer was Neyla Pekarek. Classically trained on the cello, she added a softness to the boys’ grit and eventually picked up the mandolin and piano.
Not surprisingly, fans reacted passionately to the live Lumineers experience. People coming together, making beauty out of tragedy – a force of musical solidarity against isolation, adversity and despair. Their success on the road led to their signing with Dualtone Records and their first full-length album.
Full of acoustic-based, Americana-inflected songs ranging from folk and gospel to rock and roll, The Lumineers is a powerful study in what unites us – falling in love and then losing it, sacrifice and stubbornness, and the yearning to have our hearts known.