A nostalgic yearning for the simple and the uncluttered sounds of yesteryear has been at the heart of the recent roots revival. This nod to the past has seen bands like Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes enjoy immense popularity. Cue The Lumineers, an infectious folk band from Colorado who recently released their self-titled debut album. With a rustic charm and the extensive use of acoustic instruments, The Lumineers offer a timeless collection of songs.
The album kicks off with “Flowers in Your Hair”, a short acoustic ditty which begins with the lonely sound of lead singer Wesley Schultz’s slightly raspy voice and a single guitar. But it becomes a real foot-stomping tune when it gains momentum with the addition of percussion halfway through the song.
“Classy Girls” is unusual in that there is a bit of bar banter in the background of the song. It too has a majestic build-up, with the recurring use of hand-clapping.
The Lumineers’s most popular song, “Ho Hey”, tells a poignant tale of lost love. Punctuated by frequent “ho heys” and with the addition of a mandolin after the first chorus, “Ho Hey” proves to be incredibly catchy.
The strongest track on the album, “Slow It Down”, is also the simplest. Schultz’s pained vocals confront you with the same raw emotion that you would get from Jeff Buckley’s rendition of the iconic “Hallelujah”. With lyrics like “I feel a filth in my bones, wash my hands till it’s gone”, the song is placed perfectly in the middle of the album.
“Stubborn Love” opens with a beautiful violin solo that gives the track a bit of a Celtic feel. This song delivers one of the best lines on the album: “It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all; the opposite of love is indifference.”
The Lumineers strike the perfect balance between making the folk genre accessible to people who aren’t very familiar with the genre while also pleasing established folk fans. Perhaps the greatest thing about this flawless trio is that their music leaves you with a big, goofy grin pasted across your face. To evoke such joy in a listener is easily one of the best qualities music can possess.
See the “Flowers in Your Hair” music video @Perdeby7410f or below.