In my ears: The Lumineers


Courtesy of the artist

The Lumineers (from left): Neyla Pekarek, Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz.

By Caley Griebenow, features editor
Artist: The Lumineers
Similar to: Mumford and Sons, Hozier and X Ambassadors
Vibe: a relaxed, nostalgic mood
At exactly 10 a.m on March 22, I found myself, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, vying for the coveted Lollapalooza tickets. After opening the website on my phone, my mom’s phone, my iPad and the computer, and finally getting through on my mom’s phone as it was at eight percent, I snagged a one-day pass for Thursday (victory!). Hello Lana Del Rey, G-Eazy and The 1975; I couldn’t wait. But it wasn’t until April 8th that there was one thing that could have made the lineup even better: The Lumineers.
The Lumineers first took the Lollapalooza stage back in 2013, back when their song ‘Ho Hey’ was playing on practically every radio station (OK, maybe not 107.5). Now, their single “Ophelia” from their sophomore album, “Cleopatra,” is experiencing the same domination of the radio, especially on the Mix and 93Xrt.
Similar to their self-titled debut album, “Cleopatra” explores the themes of love and loss, longing for your home and searching for a sense of belonging. Instead of relying on recycled beats or lyrics, the Lumineers continue to develop their craft for unique lyrics and raw acoustics that further the relaxed and slightly nostalgic vibe.
Some of my favorite tracks are “Angela,” “Cleopatra”, and “Gale Song.” “Gale Song” has almost hauntingly simplistic lyrics about the end of a relationship: “When you hear my voice, when you say my name, may it never bring you pain/And I won’t fight in vain/I’ll love you just the same.” A sense of pain is shared between the artist and the listener for a relationship that was not meant to be. But for “Angela,” it is the message that makes the song memorable. “Home at last/ Were you safe and warm in your coat of arms/With your fingers in a fist/Strangers in this town, lift you up just to cut you down.” This addresses the growing pains and a home not feeling like a home anymore, and the vocals mirror that discomfort.
“Cleopatra” is possibly to most lyrically perplexing song, about having and losing a great love and the struggle to regain it. “I was Cleopatra, I was taller than the rafters/But that’s all in the past now, gone with the wind … I won’t be late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life/And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I’ll be on time.” Simply stunning.
“Cleopatra” is a triumph of a second album, and one I will be continuing to listen to on car rides as I stare out the window, pretending to be in a movie.