Everything is illuminated, especially under the incandescent influence of friendly folk-rockers, the Lumineers. The Denver, Colorado-based trio infuse their indie rock songs with quaint strings; tunes from their début self-titled album display instrumental tones like the rich sweep of a cello or the twee strum of a mandolin.
But unlike so many modern folk artists who fail to go beyond the espresso-tweaked coffee shop scene or drop-a-dollar-in-the-hat sidewalk hustling, the Lumineers have lit up the charts. They reached an admirable 17th position on the Billboard 200; radio hits like “Ho Hey” have garnered them national radio spins and an opening slot on tour with folk-rock veterans Old Crow Medicine Show.
For a band working off of a small independent folk-Americana label that features old-timey favorites like June Carter Cash and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the youthful Lumineers’ wholly modern success in a burgeoning musical sub-genre might be owing to the band’s high-risk, high-reward outlook on life.
While other bands in the Lumineers’ genre have a reputation for passively fading way into oblivion, frontman Wesley Schultz said in an interview with KROQ Los Angeles that while the Lumineers have done their fair share of “running blindly” into a varied and sometimes embarrassing creative projects, that same willingness to embarrass themselves is what might have led to their current success.
As evidenced from their acoustic performance of “Hey Ho” and “Stubborn Love,” what the Lumineers have created through their unabashed artistry is a sound both timeless and timely. Built on a foundation of perseverance, the Lumineers are a fusion of the fresh and the foolproof with a musical reverence of their folk forefathers.
“If you can fail countless times and return to your craft,” said drummer Jeremiah Fraites, “then I think you’re specifically cut out for this business.”
The Lumineers’ self-titled debut album is available at Amazon via Dualtone Records.
–Nadia Noir, KROQ