DENVER — The Meadowlark isn’t exactly the big time. The Lumineers are bringing III: The World Tour with Mt. Joy to KeyBank Center on February 26, 2020 at 7:00pm. SCHULTZ: And I was so sick of making those e-vites too – using to try to get people out.
the lumineers iii story – The Lumineers Share Dark New Songs About Addiction At Milwaukee Show
In collaboration with Fraites, whose expressive piano plays a central role in the drama and beauty of these songs, Schultz refined and connected the characters who inhabited the songs they’d worked up. There would be a family tree spanning three generations: the grandmother, Gloria Sparks; her son, Jimmy Sparks; and her grandson, Junior Sparks. The band has also supported two of their musical heroes, including opening up for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on his last tour as well as U2 on their “Joshua Tree Tour” in 2017. The band was also invited as guests to visit the Obama White House twice in 2016.
For this group, music has always come before image, despite an increase in fans approaching them for pictures (the new autograph”). Wesley cut his teeth on classic rock, rarely knowing or caring what his favourite stars looked like because their songs were all he needed.
After years of touring the world in support of their debut album, the band released the follow up Cleopatra on Dualtone, in 2016. The platinum album debuted #1 on both Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart and the UK Albums Chart and featured the gold title track as well as the platinum single, Ophelia”. The tour in support of Cleopatra included two sold out shows at Madison Square Garden and one at the Hollywood Bowl.
Even if the audience didn’t connect with lyrics as much as the sweeping music, the raw anger, in the words and Schultz’s voice, makes “Landslide” one of the greatest songs the Lumineers have ever made.
The folk band shared songs from its forthcoming album “III” at a 1,300-seat theater in Milwaukee, ahead of an arena tour and Bonnaroo headlining gig. The album concludes with the song Salt and The Sea,” which leaves Jimmy and the listener with the hope that things are going to be okay.
It’s a risky song that big studios wouldn’t allow lesser-known acts to use at the start of a record. But Fraites and Lumineers singer, lyricist and co-founder Wesley Schultz don’t care much for what studio brass think. They do things their own way, as they did on their first, self-titled EP, for the song Ho Hey,” which sounds like it was recorded in a garage but somehow made its way up the Billboard charts; on their second album, Cleopatra; and now on III.
Her EP sets the mood that carries on through the rest of the album, solemn and serious but paired with upbeat tunes. Schultz says his honest lyrics are paired with upbeat music on purpose to balance the songs.
III tells such a bleak story, which could prove to be a challenge performing live for a concert crowd wanting to have a good time. But Schultz says these heavy songs have touched many of the people who have already seen the band perform live.
His publicist sent an advance copy of III,” the album released this month that, along with videos that have been compiled into a short film showing at a Toronto film festival, follow the tragic arc of three generations of the Sparks family and their struggles with alcohol and drug abuse.
Widely hailed for their energetic but intimate live performances, The Lumineers have traveled the world on a number of sold out tours, including 2017’s CLEOPATRA World Tour,” which saw over 300,000 tickets sold and closed with 27 consecutive sold out arena dates. Along with its popular success, the Denver, CO-based band has earned a wide array of critical acclaim and other honors, including two GRAMMY® Award nominations, five Billboard Music Awards nominations, and a pair of Americana Music Honors & Awards nominations.
Release Day Picks this week highlights new albums by The New Mastersounds, Pixies, The Lumineers, Jeremy Ivey and Devendra Banhart. The listener can hear these differing perspectives in the music. Schultz says that “Gloria” is meant to represent a conversation between the addict and her daughter.
LOS ANGELES, CA (August 20, 2019) — This morning, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced the world premiere of The Lumineers’ III (pronounced three”), a visual exploration of the band’s third and latest album, on Sunday, September 8 at 3PM in Cinema 1 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (Reitman Square: 350 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3X5).
Denver has a public-radio station, OpenAir , that features local bands, and a large record store, Twist & Shout, that prominently displays local albums. Clubs like the Hi-Dive encourage new bands to play their own material. And local musicians, across genres, have been more cooperative than cutthroat.
The third chapter sets the final scene for Jimmy Sparks, the father of Junior, whose wife Bonnie leaves him. To cope, he turns to alcohol and gambling, causing him to neglect his son. The last songs of this chapter, April” and The Salt and the Sea,” portray a kind of dreary, melancholy feeling to close the final chapter of The Sparks family’s story.
To further help the theme take shape, the band is going to release individual videos for every song on the album. You can follow the narrative on YouTube , which visually captures the story of the Sparks Family.
This album really tugs at the heartstrings. Listening to each song from start to finish makes you feel like a fly on the wall inside the family’s household. I strongly recommend the album not just for fans of the band, but also for people who enjoy music that tells a story. This album highlights how substance and domestic abuse works like a cycle — where the actions of one person can have negative consequences on the next. This truth can be tough to listen to, but it starts an important conversation on how to stop this cycle.
RAZ: When Wesley got the quote, he’d been living in New York – this was a few years ago – and he and his childhood friend Jeremiah Fraites were both working odd jobs and struggling to make it as a band. And that’s when they wrote this song.
The new album III is audacious: every note, every syllable, and every moment of silence in between is emotionally charged. The album is darker in tone than previous albums and is presented in three chapters, with each one centering on one main character from a fictitious family known as the Sparks, who span three generations in the album’s storyline. III‘s concept began while the band was writing in the Catskill mountains, where producer Simone Felice works. Mixing raw emotional themes with their ear-catching melodies, expressive vocals and trademark acoustic sound, III moves masterly in artistic directions not yet traveled by the band.
The band almost left Ho Hey” off the album. Recording it took months and months and months, and we didn’t like any of it,” Mr. Schultz recalled. The Lumineers are bringing III: The World Tour with Mt. Joy to KeyBank Center on February 26, 2020 at 7:00pm. Every online ticket includes a copy of The Lumineers’ new album, III” out September 13th.
Lyrically, The Lumineers use searing imagery, painting a picture with each song. This picture — the life of Gloria, her son Jimmy and her grandson, Junior — is even further illuminated by the heartbreaking short film that accompanies the record.
The Lumineers’ latest record III” is an ambitious third offering that has been rolling out in chapter-like EPs since May. Chapter I includes songs Donna,” Life in the City” and Gloria.” Chapter II features It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You,” Leader of the Landslide” and Left for Denver.” Chapter III, out Friday, will conclude the compilation with My Cell,” Jimmy Sparks,” April” and Salt and the Sea.” Each tune is accompanied by a cinematic music video , all of which tell the full story of Gloria, Junior and Jimmy Sparks, a fictional family facing the destruction of addiction.
The work is titled III not just because it’s The Lumineers’ third full-length album, but more significantly because nine songs are presented in three chapters, each focusing on one of three main characters. The chapters also serve as the visual bookend for a sequential video series comprising the nine tracks, each directed by Kevin Phillips (whose 2017 film Super Dark Times” is streaming on Netflix).
My Cell,” the first song in Chapter Three, finds Jimmy alone with his problems in his trailer, with its primitive painted landscapes standing in for actual windows. The climactic Jimmy Sparks” spans two decades, starting with prison guard Jimmy buckling in the feverish baby son his wife left him with and driving to a gambling casino, and culminating with Junior, now a young man, spotting his father stumbling along the side of the road, barefoot in the snow, and driving right past this pathetic shell of a man—and by extension, this ruined family. It was 3 AM,” Schultz repeatedly reminds us.
Got there around 6:30. The weather was not cooperating with us. Fortunately they were handing out rain ponchos at the door. The show began with the short film III. It was basically a video for every song of this concept album that had three parts. Told a very sad but beautiful story about this family. Nick Stahl was in it. He was good. Next was about a ten minute Q&A with the band. It was interesting but I think the crowd would have been more receptive were it not for the weather. Finally they did a long acoustic set. I think they played all the songs you want to here from every album. None of the hits left out. It sounded great. Everyone sang along. They did one encore. I think it was ‘Have you ever seen the rain?’ but I could be wrong. I remember it was in a minor key which was interesting.
On January 9, 2017, Irish supergroup U2 announced that The Lumineers would be among their guests during the North American leg of the “Joshua Tree Tour 2017”, 83 opening shows at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, NRG Stadium in Houston, AT & T Stadium in Dallas, Soldier Field in Chicago, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, FedEx Field in Washington DC, Rogers Centre in Toronto, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts , and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
The storyline itself, has moments of hopefulness, but it also makes no promises. While there seems a chance that Junior may escape the cycle of addiction from the generations before him in Left for Denver,” the ending of the short film is ambiguous, questioning if he does get away.
The next parts are more ambiguous with what they represent, although part two clearly follows the results of her actions. It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You,” the first song of this part, has a more pop sound and is the climax of the album, with its easy going guitar strumming that gave me Hey Jude” vibes. Part two contains the most energetic songs of the album, taking the characteristic Lumineers sound and turning them into potential pop hits.
The Lumineers are really on to something here. Each video is more impactful than the last, and humanizing the devastating effects of addiction is a brave yet important undertaking. Watch below. The entire album III will be out on September 13th via Dualtone Music Group, Inc.
Part one, which follows the reluctant mother, starts with the slow, simple piano melodies that characterize the bitterness she feels, and builds up to a louder, faster-paced sound that is more like that of the Lumineers’ second album, representing her escape from the life she hated.
FRAITES: Well, it’s not that nicely of a package. I think the reality is that when that happened, I think, in a sense, I grew up overnight. I don’t think that we would necessarily be here talking to you if he hadn’t died. I don’t know where I would be. I think that I’d still be making music, but I think that it really drastically altered my trajectory for the rest of my life.
In the spring of 2005, childhood friends Wesley and Jeremiah began to collaborate, writing together and playing gigs around New York. After battling the city’s cutthroat music scene and impossibly high cost of living, the two decided to expand their horizons. They packed everything they owned-nothing more than a couple suitcases of clothes and a trailer full of musical instruments-and headed for Denver, Colorado. It was less a pilgrimage than act of stubborn hopefulness.
Take Gloria,” with its up-tempo, heavy-strummed instrumentation and lyrics rich with despair. Schultz sings, taking the voice of two characters having a conversation. One, Gloria Sparks, is a drunken woman covering up her boozy breath with peppermints and looking back on her happier past, pledging she’ll get back on her feet. The other, a family member, sees Gloria climbing up on her cross and dying. Bound to her, the family suffers because of her addiction.
But many of the most riveting moments Thursday were the quietest, like when the sound of the band dropped out from behind Schultz’s vocals for “Submarines,” his voice sounding like a wolf howling at the moon, as he removed the hat from his head and covered his heart.
It all begins with Gloria Sparks. She’s a mother and wife, but also an alcoholic who is constantly getting into serious trouble that jeopardizes her life along with the lives of her husband and child.
Every note, every syllable, and every moment of silence in between is emotionally charged. Through its course, songwriters Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites make it emphatically clear that the arrangements don’t have to be dense for the songs to be intense.
The songs stand on their own. Removed from the context of the rest of the album, Life in the City” is just that_a narrative of navigating a difficult and lonely city life. But within the larger story, it is part of Gloria’s battle, as the city entices her with drugs, alcohol and sex.
These elements included detailed notes presciently scrawled by Schultz in a journal more than a decade ago: depicting both the harrowing experience of trying to save an alcoholic close relative from herself, and Schultz’s memories of a deeply absurd family portrait at Sears when he was a child. Another crucial component was a song commissioned and subsequently rejected by a filmmaker, which features a haunting piano passage repurposed by Fraites from years earlier when he barely knew how to play the instrument.
The folk-rock band, based in Denver, has achieved huge success and a strong fan base since the release of their first album in 2011. Self-titled “The Lumineers,” the album quickly reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 200. Fans were drawn to the band’s unique blend of rustic folk and rock, with influences from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.