by Chris Familton
The Lumineers are a trio from Denver, Colorado who deal in folk-leaning americana and on this, their debut album, they’ve managed to capture the essence of their sound pretty effectively. They work in a similar realm to the Avett Brothers with various 60s pop influences infusing the songs with heady melodic pop phrasings and a simplicity to arrangements that gives the album a wonderful pared down and uncluttered feel.
Though there is an immediacy to the music of The Lumineers that hooks the listener they also leave you wanting more in terms of rustic grit that this type of music more often than not needs. The albums biggest appeal lies in the glorious vocals of Wesley Schultz who possesses a rich yearning and an undeniable way with a chorus. On Ho Hey, the rest of the band contribute harmonies to the catchy acoustic stomp and it feels positively uplifting. Elsewhere Schultz dials in some of the coarse vocal strain of Two Gallants on Classy Girls and in Dead Sea the band deliver their finest moment. The song builds over acoustic guitar, strings and the subtly propulsive rhythm section and it sounds superb. The closest The Lumineers get to sounding like an authentic barn dance band is on Big Parade with its country stomp full of handclaps and communal singing and it goes some way to addressing the earnest clean cut impression that most of the album paints.
This is a confident and generally impressive debut album in a genre that threatens to become a caricature of itself with bands dressing in period costume to boost their backwoods authenticity. The Lumineers sound genuine in their intent and accomplished in their craft and that alone should take them a long way.
this review was first published in Drum Media