It’s been a long time coming for anything fresh from The Lumineers, the Colorado-native band responsible for the ear worm, “Ho Hey” back in 2012. All nausea aside from their commercially successful track, their self-titled debut album is just as listenable in 2016 as it was in 2012. That album sold almost 2 million records in the U.S., and over 3 million worldwide, peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts, spending almost an entire year in the Top 200. The group also earned two Grammy Award nominations, got a playlist shoutout from Barack Obama, and toured six continents over the course of three years. Just typing that made me exhausted.
The trio has shared the first single, “Ophelia” from the upcoming release, Cleopatra, due out April 8th via DualTone. The track is a true-to-form Lumineers single – although only running 2 minutes and 40 seconds, lead singer Wesley Schultz’s voice is still just as pleasantly rough, gliding over the piano-lead track, with bright staccato piano keys driving the chorus.
Cleopatra was recorded in rural New York, not far from Woodstock, with help from producer Simone Felice, who worked with Americana/Folk staples The Felice Brothers and Avett Brothers. Schultz worked primarily on developing lyrical elements, while collaborating on the music with multi-instrumentalist member Jeremiah Fraites, who contributed on the band’s trademark guitar, piano and simplistic “tribal” drums.
“The record is our greatest hits reflecting what’s happened to us over the last three years. We tried to come up with the best possible version of every song, so we recorded a lot of different iterations, changing the tempos, dressing ’em up, stripping ’em down. It took a lot of work to make them sound so easy. We’re very passionate about the process. It was a very intense and beautiful experience. There was a lot of battling, a lot of tears, but some amazing stuff came out, and at the end, we were much better off. It transformed our relationship.”
The true fans of The Lumineers have had to showcase a fair amount of patience as they awaited the next full length release from the group, but if “Ophelia” is any hint, the band will pick up right where they left off with their self-titled debut.
The band has shared the track list for Cleopatra (available for pre-order here), and announced the first leg of their world tour, which is set to begin in the U.K. the week after the album is released on April 14th. The band will make their return to Milwaukee on June 15th, slated to play The Riverside Theater – at least for now; Milwaukee fans will remember being in the heart of the hype, when the band’s first Milwaukee appearance sold out Turner Hall Ballroom, moved to Pabst Theater, and then moved again to the Riverside Theater after selling out The Pabst. Pre-sale tickets for their June 15th show have sold out, but the general on sale begins Friday, February 12th… so don’t sleep on this one.