A sonic play in 3 acts.
To say that every song The Lumineers have previously released sounds like their 2012 classic, "Ho Hey," is not to say that those songs are bad.
The "Ho Hey" formula is an excellent one that the band has managed to stretch out over multiple albums to great success; but while each pre-2019 song is perfect background noise for picnicking in crowded park while you ignore the ugly view of the highway, they're largely lacking in anything besides the ability to drown out the unwanted noise of daily life.
Now, The Lumineers have blown that formula of catchy inoffensiveness to pieces. Their newest album, III, is a glorious explosion that reminds fans what folk rock is really about: unflinching storytelling. The new project follows one family's story of addiction through three generations. First, we learn the story of Gloria Sparks, an alcoholic mother struggling to reconcile her destructive view of herself with the untainted love her children have for her. Next, we see her story from the point of view of her child, Jimmy, a perspective full of all the resentment and heartache that comes with being the child of an addict. Finally, we see Jimmy all grown up and battling the same demons his mother did, a battle that his own son is forced to witness.
Drummer Jeremiah Fraites has dealt with addiction on a personal level, losing his brother to a heroin overdose as a child. Perhaps fatefully, Fraites' brother was a close friend of Fraites' eventual bandmate, Wes Schultz, which united the two founding members of The Lumineers in shared grief. Fraites told NPR, "I remember my mom woke me up. She said, 'Sweetheart, your brother got arrested last night. He was arrested in a car was around 2:00 in the morning,'"He says. "He'd smoke PCP and he was so high on drugs that he went inside this A&P, which was like a local supermarket out in the East Coast, and he drank Drano which is just an unbelievable thing. I don't know what compelled him to do that. But he was in the ICU for a couple of weeks with second and third degree burns on his throat."
While many artists claim their albums "tell a story," few manage to populate the imagination of the listener the way III does. Fraites described, "With drug addiction or alcoholism it really affects the individual and then it has a sort of fallout effect — similar to the effects of a radiation bomb — over time and over years and years, it continually tends to affect people's loved ones." Ultimately, III is all about the story of this fallout. It's a cinematic, heartbreaking album that is not only musically stunning but lyrically dense and fully-realized.
It's difficult for a folk band to overcome the burden of potential that a Top 5 Billboard hit places on their shoulders. But if there is any justice in the world, The Lumineers will not be remembered for their catchy, vapid love songs, but for the groundbreaking, industry-disrupting art contained in III. And if we're lucky, this is only the beginning—the true beginning—for The Lumineers.
- The Lumineers Explore Horrors of Alcoholism in 'Gloria' Video ... ›
- The Lumineers face familiar monsters on new triptych album 'III ... ›
- Album Review: The Lumineers – III | BeatRoute Magazine ›
- The Lumineers are releasing a new album. Listen to the first single ... ›
- On The Lumineers III, Folk Pop Outfit Continue Perfecting Radio ... ›
- The Lumineers 'Gloria' Review; Folk-Rock Band Drops New Single ... ›
- The Lumineers Drop Three Songs off New Album III | Westword ›
- Album Review: The Lumineers' III Is a Sonic and Cinematic ... ›
- Lumineers Explore Spiral of Addiction With Shocking New Music ... ›
- The Lumineers - III - Reviews - Album of The Year ›
Pour some coffee, get comfortable, and get ready to sign.
Take a few minutes and add your names to these petitions, most of which have been copied and pasted directly from this BLM resource doc and this one.
100 percent of the credit for this list goes to the creators of these documents, petitions, and movements. The organizers also note: Please do not donate to change.org and never sign anything circulated by Shaun King (both are notorious for failing to fully distribute the funds they've raised to the people they promised to give to).
Prospective allies: Don't let signing petitions be the end of your advocacy work. Call, email, donate, talk directly to people in your life and to your representatives, and get involved in the fight for justice. Signing the petitions is easy, but fighting for change is the hard part.
Is Black Out Tuesday really "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change"?
On Friday, May 29th, as protests ripped across the nation, a message began to circulate through social media, asking that the music industry disconnect from the Internet for a day.
The post called this "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change."
This is part of an initiative created by Atlantic Records' Jamila Thomas and Platoon's Brianna Agyemang, who launched it alongside several calls to action. "Tuesday, June 2nd is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week," they wrote. "The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable. … This is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced."