We’d like you to say “Hey” (or even “Ho Hey!”) to July and August’s You Oughta Know artists, The Lumineers. Childhood friends Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites began writing music together after the tragic loss of Jeremiah’s brother and Wesley’s friend, Josh. Eventually growing tired of the Brooklyn gruel, they turned west to Colorado. The move, it turns out, was fruitful. Once there, they picked up cellist Neyla Perkarek and released their eponymous debut album, which has since seen rise on the Billboard charts. “I don’t know where I belong,” goes “Ho Hey!”, “but I can write a song.” And that they can. Like the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons and many roots-revivalists before them, The Lumineers provide solace from the imposing woomp-woomp of radio these days, favoring instead the thump-thump of their feet and hearts. We think you really oughta know these guys, and here’s five reasons why:
1. That Bing Commercial
Many folks first got wind of these guys during this year’s NBA Finals, when a Bing spot with an infectiously hopeful song played during every commercial break. One internet search for “what is that song in the Bing commercial” later, and before the game was even over, many found themselves officially intrigued by The Lumineers.
2. Their Heart
“Ho Hey!” is an easy hook — the ho’s and hey’s are initiating, and the slight wallow in Wesley’s voice makes it sound like he is singing directly to you. And when the gang vocals hit at the chorus, you’ll be hard pressed not to sing along. The rest of the album is as good, too. Illuminated by themes of heartache and loss, The Lumineers’ self-titled debut swells with emotions.
3. The Video For “Ho Hey”
We were lucky enough to catch up with the band last week (more on that soon!), and they let us onto a little secret about the video: it was shot in the same warehouse as one of the Saw movies. Not that you could have ever guessed. The three in synch, Jeremiah, Wesley and Neyla stomp away any of the the space’s lingering unease and fill it instead with joy and warmth and, as others join in, a dance party. Rather than the torture chamber it was, it is — as we wrote earlier this year — a picture of grand romance.
4. They Are Probably Playing Somewhere Near You This Summer
Ho! Hey, looks like The Lumineers have a busy summer ahead of them. According to their schedule, they are playing almost every night from now until the end of August; and with everyone from Brandi Carlile to The Allman Brothers at the All Good Music Festival to Cake at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.
5. They Are Internet Savvy
As the story goes, after moving from Brooklyn to Denver, Wesley and Jeremiah put up an ad on Craigslist looking for a cellist. Neyla responded and the rest was history! She has since added the mandolin and the piano to her repertoire, which has helped to soften and shape the band’s sound and made her an inextricable part of The Lumineers.