Behind their breakout hit "Ho Hey," Denver trio the Lumineers emerged in 2012 to become one of the leading lights of the indie folk movement. Over the next several years, they found widespread success based on their spirited live shows and organic blend of rock, folk, and Americana styles. Their multiplatinum, Grammy-nominated debut The Lumineers paved the way for the chart-topping 2016 follow-up Cleopatra.
The roots of the band can be traced back to the East Coast where, in 2005, founding members Wesley Schultz (vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion) began working together in a variety of different New York City bands. By 2009 they'd become more serious and chosen to relocate to the unlikely musical hub of Denver, Colorado, where they met cellist and multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek. The success of their self-titled 2011 EP earned them a management deal, and they soon decamped to Seattle to record their debut album with producer Ryan Hadlock. Prior to the album's release, the catchy "Ho Hey" single began picking up steam in influential radio markets, and by the time Dualtone released the Lumineers' self-titled LP in April 2012, they'd amassed considerable buzz. Buoyed by "Ho Hey" and the subsequent single "Stubborn Love" (a song later revealed to be on President Obama's iPod playlist), the album eventually peaked at number two on the Billboard Top 200 and earned them two Grammy nominations. A whirlwind of touring occupied the next two years as the Lumineers' profile continued to rise. Schultz and Fraites were pegged to ghostwrite "The Hanging Tree," a folk song used in the 2014 Jennifer Lawrence film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1. By 2016 they'd completed work on their follow-up album, Cleopatra, which was released in April of that year, reaching number one in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Following their own world tour, the Lumineers were asked by U2 to join the North American leg of their Joshua Tree anniversary tour.
In the summer of 2018, the band issued the three-track C-Sides EP on Decca, and in April 2019 they released "Gloria," the first single from their aptly named third studio LP III. A song cycle depicting the tolls of addiction structured as three separate chapters, III arrived later that September. ~ Timothy Monger