The Lumineers celebrate the “Brightside” of life with their new album

The latest from the American folk duo has depth and passion

Maggie Blackburn, Assistant Editor, Arts & Culture

The Lumineers is an American folk rock band founded by two current members Wesley Shultz (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (percussion). They started writing and performing together in 2005 and have been at it ever since. In 2010, Neyla Pekarek (cellist, vocalist) joined the band, then left in 2018, leaving the two original men. The Lumineers were not a super popular band until their hit song “Ho Hey” came out in 2012. This song helped the band to break through the barriers and make a name for themselves in both the music industry and the indie folk movement. 

Since their rise to fame, they have produced four studio albums, seven EPs, nineteen singles and five promotional singles. The fourth studio album was recently released on January 14, its peak chart position being sixth. The album has thus far accumulated over 26,000 sales. The album “Brightside” consists of nine tracks, including “BRIGHTSIDE,” “A.M. RADIO,” “WHERE WE ARE,” “BIRTHDAY,” “BIGSHOT,” “NEVER REALLY MINE,” “ROLLERCOASTER,” “REMINGTON” and “REPRISE.” Despite the album release being in January, “BRIGHTSIDE” was originally released as a single in September 2021 and has since accumulated over sixteen million streams, making it the most popular of the album.

The title track “BRIGHTSIDE,” which was written in a day, sets the mood for the rest of the album. “BRIGHTSIDE” depicts the feeling of unconditional love between two people. The rest of the album goes on to illustrate the struggles of life and maintaining a healthy relationship, regardless how much you love the person.

In some of the pieces within the album, you can hear some inspirations rooted from previous pieces. “BIG SHOT” mainly features piano instrumentals, similar to some of their previous pieces, such as “Patience.” The way Shultz’s voice sounds so raw and emotional, yet full of passion and love in “A.M. RADIO” reminds me of their song “Sick in the Head,” yet the messages of the songs were completely different. 

My personal favorite of The Lumineers’ albums still has to be “Cleopatra,” although “Brightside” is a very close second. I think the similarities of the stylistic choices of both albums make me love them nearly the same, but the different stories with each album gives a different feel. The Lumineers have been making music for nearly seventeen years now, and are still going. Their music is just getting better, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.