The folk-rock movement is stomping forward and attracting new fans at a nearly exponential rate and The Lumineers are at the head of the pack. The folksie riffs and layered harmonies would have never flown during the nineties but therein lies the beauty of this blossoming genre.

The Lumineers are currently the it band among hipsters in the know. The group’s self-titled debut album was released in April and quickly reached a respectable 17th position on the Billboard 200. That says a lot for a band on an independent label.

With all three contributing to the vocals, Wesley Schultz specializes in guitar while Jeremiah Fraites focuses on drums and Neyla Pekarek humbly displays mad skills on the cello, mandolin, and piano.

The band’s honestly is unnerving. In an interview with KROQ Los Angeles’ Nichole Alvarez, Schultz admits the band has had their share of embarrassments during the creative process. “That’s part of it. I think that’s just part of your running blindly and trying to find out where you’re gonna live (musically). You’ll hit a wall where you’re just not supposed to be. You’re making an acoustic reggae song and you’re probably not supposed to be doing it.”

Schultz continues about pushing the boundaries in an attempt to test their comfort zone. “We’re willing to embarrass ourselves, well, maybe behind closed doors.” When asked to advise younger bands who think they may be having dumb ideas, Schultz recommends embracing those ideas, just don’t be so quick to show the world. “Some of that stuff is meant to be growing pains.” To which drummer Fraites adds, “If you can fail countless times and return to your craft then I think you’re specifically cut out for this business.

When prompted to talk about the band’s guilty pleasures, Fraites admits he enjoys pop radio.” There’s something about those cheesy songs.” But the drummer admits his fascination is not just for her music, Although drummer explains that he’s perplexed how someone like Katy Perry, who’s an “idol for young girls,” sings about “Ménage à trois” (threesomes).

The Lumineers’ self-titled debut album is available at Amazon via Dualtone Records.

— Jay Tilles

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