The Illuminating Lumineers

The Lumineers 0212 4
The Lumineers

Every Lumineers song makes you feel like you're being baptized -- and after a few hand claps, "ho!"s and "hey!"s, you become born again as a follower of the church of folk. They make people believe in the simplicity of songwriting again. It's because there's a tenderness to it, a feeling that "we're all in this together."It's a communal experience that requires audience participation and sing-alongs. It's about gathering around in back yards and living rooms to re-engage with ancient parts of ourselves. 

It's not so much a trendy re-interpretation of folk a la Mumford and Sons or Head and the Heart but a feeling that these songs were honed over whiskey on a friend's porch. It feels accessible, like when they sing, "I don't know where I belong, I don't know where I went wrong, but I can write a song," in "Ho Hey" and you know that to be the truth. Their brand of Americana comes from Denver, where this three-piece began with what they describe as "born out of sorrow, powered by passion, ripened by hard work." Wesley Schultz, Jeremiah Fraites and Neyla Pekarek have only two EPs under their belts, with a full-length on its way on April 3 via Dualton Records. 

Their story of origin only adds to the Lumineers mythology. Fleeing New York City due to the high cost of living and competitive music scene, they found refuge in Denver, where they could work on their craft, which also served as a catharsis, as Fraites grieved the untimely death of his brother, who was also Schultz's close friend. That proved to be the perfect move, as the Lumineers have been gaining buzz ever since. The need for traditional Americana is as high as ever, so consider the Lumineers as your fix. Check them out Wednesday night at the Casbah

Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms.Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

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