The Lumineers

  • Folk rock band formed in 2005 from Denver Colorado. The founding members are Wesley Schultz (lead vocals, guitars, piano, lyrics and songwriting) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, piano, mandolin, backing vocals, songwriting). Neyla Pekarek (cello, vocals) joined in 2010 and was a bandmember for their first 2 successful albums – she left in October 2018 to start a solo career.
  • Schultz’s best friend growing up was Fraites’ older brother. In 2002, the brother died from a drug overdose. Dealing with the tragedy, Schultz connected with Jeremiah, and they found solace in playing music and writing songs together. They started playing gigs around New York City, using the band names Free Beer, 6Cheek, and Wesley Jeremiah. They started by playing covers, and slowly began performing their own music. One night, at a gig in Jersey City, the emcee introduced them, mistakenly using the name of the band that was supposed to play there the following week – The Lumineers. Schultz and Fraites liked the name, and used it for future shows.
  • They struggled to make ends meet in New York, so they decided to move to another part of the country, moving to Denver in 2009. The following year, they placed an ad on Craigslist, looking for a cellist. Pekarek responded and joined the group. In 2011, they signed a management deal, and along with 4 other studio musicians, they recorded their debut album, the self titled The Lumineers. It was released in April 2012. The first single from the album, Ho Hey, was released in December 2011. It was used in the season finale of the TV show Hart of Dixie, which led to buzz on social media. Eventually, the song peaked at #3 on the Hot 100, and reached #1 on the Alternative Songs and Rock Songs charts. The song remained on the Hot 100 chart for 62 weeks – only 10 other songs in history have been on the chart more than 60 weeks (the longest run is 87 weeks, for Radioactive by Imagine Dragons). A second single, Stubborn Love, reached #2 on the Alternative chart. The album was certified 3x platinum in April 2018.
  • In 2014, Schultz and Fraites composed the music to the song The Hanging Tree, used in the film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. The lyrics were from the novel written by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, and were sung by Jennifer Lawrence. The song reached #12 on the Hot 100, and was a top ten song in 8 other countries.
  • In 2016, The Lumineers released their second album, Cleopatra. The single Ophelia topped the Alternative Songs chart, and ended the year as the #1 alternative song on Billboard’s year end chart. Two other singles – Angela and the title track Cleopatra – reached #5 and #1 respectively on the Alternative Songs chart. Ultimately, the album was certified platinum. The band supported the album with a world tour, selling out 2 shows at Madison Square Garden, 2 shows at Red Rocks, and numerous other venues.
  • I’m always intrigued by artists that somehow break out of obscurity and become big. The Lumineers will be the first to tell you that their songs are simple. I guess simple songs can make a band big, if they have great lyrics and catchy melodies. One thing’s for certain – they have caught the attention of music lovers around the world with their folk/Americana sound. Here’s the video to the song that put them on the map – Ho Hey. 

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