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This Buzz For You: The Lumineers
Folk music with edge is music that's not hard to come by since Mumford & Sons exploded onto the scene, and sometimes it's difficult to pick out what acts following their lead will really stick versus those that will be one-disc-wonders.
I'm willing to place my money on the staying power of The Lumineers, the Denver-based trio of Wesley Schultz (lead vocals, guitar), Jeremiah Fraites (on drums), and Neyla Pekarek (a classically trained cellist, who also picked up the mandolin and piano). Their self-titled release, debuted earlier this month, is a similar edgy-folk sound a la Mumford & Sons, with dashes of Americana folk. Tracks like "Classy Girls," the first single, "Ho Hey," or "Flowers in Your Hair," are fun, and translate easily to lively, stomping bar room songs sung with a bunch of your closest friends you met only hours earlier.
But as much as this album provides catchy, stuck-in-your-head lyrics, it also spins intricate narrative yarns that make you listen to compelling stories and not just stomp your feet. "Submarines" is an updated version (and, believe me, infinitely more accessible) of a classic poem like Coleridge's Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner (I promise, that's my one nerdery allusion), and has really excellent sharp piano notes that are matched and complimented wonderfully by a snare drum. "Dead Sea" talks both about the rough nature of breaking into the New York City music scene, but also, an equally difficult, if not impossible, task of trying to convince a girl who really should just stay, to stay through a powerful geographical metaphor: "Like the Dead Sea, you told me I was like the Dead Sea / You'll never sink when you are with me, oh Lord, like the Dead Sea / Woah I'm like the Dead Sea, the finest words you ever said to me / Honey can't you see, I was born to be, be your Dead Sea." Perhaps my favorite track on the album, "Stubborn Love," reflects a solid whole band sound, from instrumentation through harmonies. And I really cannot help but yelling, "So pay attention now, I'm standing your porch screaming out / And I won't leave until you come downstairs" from the second verse right along with Schultz. But, trust me, he does it a lot better than I.
I know we're only four months into 2012, but this is an album you'll want to add to your collection.
The Lumineers have a busy rest of Spring with tour dates quickly selling out. They'll play a sold-out Philadelphia show April 24th at Johnny Brenda's, and if you're lucky enough to be there, do let me know how it goes... I was not quick enough at the ticket purchase draw. Don't make my mistake; head on over to their website to see when The Lumineers play near you. Summer dates also include a few festival stops, for those festival-goers among us.
For tour info, see: http://thelumineers.com/tour-dates/
For album info, you can check out iTunes or The Lumineers online shop: http://thelumineers.spinshop.com/