Last night, The Lumineers stopped by the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to perform their ever joyous “Ho Hey!” The VH1 You Oughta Know artists, as Jay introduces them, have kept busy this summer “Ho Hey”-ing through our studios, in the streets and up the charts. And last night on the sort of bucolic stage, set with a sunflower banner and trees that look borrowed from a Waiting for Godot production, they did it again. Their usual three members swelled to five, with an added mandolin and bass guitar, and sure enough those four extra feet were put to work in what might have been the most fun rendering of the song we’ve seen so far. “Ho Hey” was built around good energy and toe tapping. That energy seems to be mounting with The Lumineers’ quick ascent. And that toe tapping? We don’t doubt that they left televisions rattling last night.
Looks like we’re not the only ones hooked on July and August’s VH1 You Oughta Know artists The Lumineers! Our sister station, the Country Music Channel, tapped the roots-revivalist trio for the kick-off episode of their gritty new online performance and interview series called Concrete Country. The band played their debut hit “Ho Hey,” along with “Classy Girls” and “Stubborn Love,” live from the streets of Nashville while traffic and pedestrians passed behind them. “We used to play that song at an open mic at the Metal Arc in Denver, and sometimes people would talk very loudly so I would scream ‘Ho!’ and ‘Hey!’” Jeremiah Fraites joked of the bustle. “It was a good song to get people’s attention.”
Green River Ordinance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yarn and Trampled by Turtles will follow in their footsteps later this summer with Concrete Country episodes of their own, and surely all with as much enthusiasm to their toe-tapping.
Maybe you’ve seen this commercial, the one where the Hawaiian vacation of dreams is planned with the help of his friends and social networks and Bing. And maybe it even inspired you to give Microsoft’s search engine go. Most likely of all, though, it left you with that song stuck in your head and anticipation of the next commercial break when you might hear it again. That oh-so-catchy song is “Ho Hey!” by July and Augusts You Oughta Know artists The Lumineers, and it sounded even better yet when they performed it at VH1 headquarters for their You Oughta Know Live session.
“Ho Hey” swells around the band’s three members, a simple guitar melody, a little kick-drum and a shake of tambourine. It’s the battery of ho’s and hey’s, though, that get into your bones, making the song impossible to shake. Not that you’ll want to.
It’s no secret that we love July and August You Oughta Know artists The Lumineers‘ “Ho Hey!” So joyous and ever infectious, they stomped their way straight to our hearts. We would be remiss, though, if we didn’t share also The Lumineers’ more plaintive side. At VH1 headquarters for their You Oughta Know Live performance, they slowed things down for “Stubborn Love,” a beautiful and yearning song about love that won’t give up. “She’ll tear a hole in you, the one you can’t repair,” it so goes, “but I still love her, I don’t really care.” Refusing to give in and raised by a crescendo of drums and cello, they insist that you “Keep your head up, keep your love” because “It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.” And when Wesley Schultz wails that, “The opposite of love is indifference,” you can’t help but feel moved.
The Lumineers had us at first “Ho Hey,” but their visit to VH1 headquarters a few weeks back really got our hearts and feet thumping. Looking the part in soft chambray shirts and suspenders, and with big smiles on their faces, they played a few songs before sitting down to talk about their move west from Brooklyn to Colorado and about hearing their music on television for the first time. All the while our photographer, Lauren Weissler, was tagging along to catch them setting up, hanging out, plugging in, and playing. We’ve named The Lumineers our You Oughta Know artists for July and August because we just can’t get enough of their warm, roots-revival rock; the rest of you, though, who have helped to propel their album to the #3 spot on Billboard’s Folk chart and #4 on the Indie chart, might have your own reasons for loving them. But check out the photos below and tell us: aren’t you so charmed, too?
But wait, we have a surprise for you! We have a special, free MP3 download of “Big Parade” by The Lumineers here for you!
DOWNLOAD “BIG PARADE” by THE LUMINEERS (right-click, save-as)
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.
We’re still recovering from the week we just spent down in Austin, Texas, for the 2012 South By Southwest Music Festival. It’s been four days since we got home, but our ears are still ringing and the taste of barbeque is still fresh in our mouths. During SXSW, most of the headlines were dominated by Fiona Apple’s stunning return to the scene and Eminem’s surprise appearance during 50 Cent’s front-to-back performance of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, but now that we’ve had a few days to put the fest in perspective, some of our favorite performances came from bands that have not yet reached household name status.
We asked a few members of VH1′s CMI (Creative Music Integration) group —they’re the people who determine which songs appear in our on-air programming— to give us a quick summary of acts that they really enjoyed during their time down in Austin, artists whose music seems likely for future sync opportunities in commercials, TV programs or films. So, fire up your Spotify and start sampling bands that you’re likely to hear a lot more from as 2012 progresses.
Swan Dive, an official SXSW venue, was packed to the brim, sweltering hot, and buzzing with energy in anticipation for Doomtree, a hip hop collective out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Armed with an eclectic sound that blends hip hop, R&B, and bluesy rock, this group of seven distinct MCs preformed with the aggressive energy of a punk act and just the right amount of hip hop swagger. Songs like “Little Mercy” with its blues-inspired vocals and dramatic, motivational lyrics (“We’re so hungry / We’re so thirsty / But I’m gonna hunt until it hurts me”), Doomtree’s music might fit perfectly in a commercial for an upcoming sporting event or a Nike commercial if they went down an edgier route.—Monsé, Creative Music Integration Assistant
For Fans Of: Grieves
This Copenhagen-based songstress impressed a sizable crowd during her short Saturday night set at SXSW. She performed a few songs off her debut album Black Cat Neighbourhood (2010) and one new song although she added, “I suppose it doesn’t really matter because I’m new to all of you.” Songs like “Only Human” and “I Lay My Head” showcased her strong lyrical skills, expressive vocals, and vibrant instrumentation peppered with catchy handclaps and whistling. Fallulah has managed to create a richly layered musical landscape that has the potential to fit nicely within shows where it could add that extra oomph to a light hearted, upbeat scene in a female driven dramaedy (think Grey’s Anatomy) or teen drama (Pretty Little Liars).—Monsé, Creative Music Integration Assistant
For Fans Of: Florence + The Machine, Lykke Li, Marina and the Diamonds
If it’s grand romance you want, then here it is, courtesy of The Lumineers. Surrounded by flashing fairy lights and bursting in and out of shadow, The Lumineers give what can only be described as a completely joy filled performance in their new video for “Ho Hey.” Bringing life to a dank setting in what appears to be a run down, abandoned house, flowers bloom against the stodgy background, and magically a crowd forms to join the band in chorus. Stomping, strumming, dancing and chanting, The Lumineers, with their supporters in tow, create an explosive moment where amidst the flashing lights, confetti begins to rain down on the celebration. The proclamation of love in the song isn’t melancholy at all, and it’s given the romantic inside us a cause to toe tap and stare whimsically out the window as we’re buoyed by the jubilance of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.”