The Lumineers

The Lumineers

The Lumineers album cover

There’s a good chance that whenever you’ve read anything about the Lumineers since your introduction to them, there has been mention of Mumford & Sons in there too. And with good reason. Without Mumford & Sons, there might never have been cause for the Lumineers to have received the amount of attention they’ve gotten over the last several months. But the comparisons between them are few.

Both bands employ a much more basic approach to the creation of their albums. Instead of relying heavily on the production and the in-studio time, they have honed a craft involving the actual instrumentation itself. Strange that that has become something worthy of mentioning but considering the music industry’s biggest names over the last decade, few can be mentioned in this context. Acts like the Lumineers and recent American Idol Phillip Phillips have benefitted greatly from M&S bringing folk-based pop and rock back to the mainstream. While Mumford have essentially become their own entity, this band is a better representation of the genre and everything that goes along with it. If there is in fact a new era of folk music in the cards, the Lumineers are who we should thank. They might be the best thing to happen to folk music in decades if winning over audiences is something the genre, its musicians and fans consider to be a good thing. They are true to the sounds of folk but also have aspects that are appealing to those who favour catchy lyrics and melodies.

The band’s first single, Ho Hey, serves as a novelty song that has mass-appeal because of its simple-yet-catchy chorus that repeats the line “I belong to you/you belong to me/and my sweet heart” over backings of group vocals “hey” “ho” accompanied with stomps and hand claps. The sound of this single is vastly different from anything radio has played in decades making it brand new to most. A whole new world to explore as these simple lyrics serve as a gateway for people to get their feet wet with a whole new style of music as more bands with folk sensibilities emerge in the coming months; even if it’s highly likely the Lumineers will end up being labeled a one-hit-wonder, regardless of how many albums they’ll make in the future. Although second single Stubborn Love (the most Mumford & Sons-sounding song on the record) might extend their album to platinum sales.

The rest of the record emphasizes the band’s focus on the basics of folk music while never getting too deep or defensive that they have to prove themselves. The lyrics are hardly impressive but the charm of this band is in the overall presentation. The genuine belief that the songs themselves are leading them and doing the talking. There’s no emphasis on the production value or any stylistic effects present. It’s just true Americana and to the heart. Three stars

1. Flowers In Your Hair
2. Classy Girls
3. Submarines
4. Dead Sea
5. Ho Hey
6. Slow It Down
7. Stubborn Love
8. Big Parade
9. Charlie Boy
10. Flapper Girl
11. Morning Song

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