The Lumineers (Dualtone)
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., July 20, 2012
By now, comparisons between this Denver Americana trio and UK folk-rockers Mumford & Sons are well documented. Both groups belong to the roots revivalist movement flooding the indie consciousness, but there's something more compelling about the Lumineers. For starters, there's the sepia-toned aesthetic evoked by Neyla Pekarek's soulful contributions on violin and mandolin, capturing both nostalgia and mourning in her bow on "Stubborn Love." Frontman Wesley Schultz's unpolished vocals, playing the ruffian to romance your prim princess in "Classy Girls," accomplishes much of the remaining heavy lifting, but there's more: the shouts, the claps, the stomps. The general expansiveness of sound on songs like "Ho Hey" make this young group's eponymous debut uniquely American in all the best ways: gritty, determined, soaked in sweat and love and drive. There's nothing precious or affected here, just three dedicated artists opening their hearts.