After a three year break, The Lumineers have stepped back onto the music scene with the release of their third studio album, “III.”
The album has a similar tone to their previous works, providing a folk like rhythm with the mix of acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and violin. But what makes this album stand out above the rest, is the story it tells along the way.
During a storyteller performance with RADIO.COM, Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers explained what the [fictional] Sparks family experience in their lives throughout the album. The album follows Gloria Sparks, her son Jimmy and her grandson Junior, all of whom struggle with addiction in one way or another.
These songs capture the love and the pain that people feel when seeing a loved one deal with addiction. Each song is described as a chapter in the Sparks family story.
“Gloria” provides an upbeat sound that is almost impossible not to tap your foot along to. But, the lyrics don’t match that same tune, as the song dives into the consequences that Gloria Sparks’ addiction has on her family. We hear the powerful words: “Gloria, no one said enough is enough. Gloria, they found you on the floor. Gloria, my hand was tied to yours. And, Gloria, did you finally see that enough is enough?”
The Lumineers released a video for every track on the album, each of which stand out as great cinematic works. Together, the videos and songs will touch your heart with the amazing acoustics and heartfelt imagery.
The first song and video, “Donna,” is about Gloria’s mother and the life she tried to build.The songs “Life in the City” and “Gloria” are about Gloria and how she lived her life in the city and where her addiction really began. These three songs are chapter one of the story The Lumineers told.
Chapter two begins with the song “It wasn’t easy to be happy for you” and continues on with “Leader of the Landslide” and “Left for Denver.” These songs tell the story of Gloria’s grandson Junior and how he struggles living with his addict father and no mother.
The final chapter of the Sparks family story is a little bit longer. This chapter finishes off with the last four songs on the album, “My Cell,” “Jimmy Sparks,” “April” and “Salt and Sea.” This chapter talks about Gloria’s son Jimmy, and how his addiction didn’t really begin until his wife left him. In order to make ends meet for his son, Jimmy got involved with the wrong crowd and by the time Junior is a man he is in too deep to escape.
The powerful and almost grunge like sound of the acoustic guitar, the high and low beats of the drums, the hard hits from the piano and the strong melody of the violin all give this story more than enough emotion.
Such powerful and raw lyrics with a folk tune could be what sets The Lumineers apart from most bands on the charts today. The artistry that shines through this album makes this their most ambitious work to date.