The Lumineers return with sophomore album ‘Cleopatra’

Nan Palmero Photo, Courtesy of Flickr
Nan Palmero Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

More than three years after the release of their self-titled freshman album, The Lumineers have returned with their second record, “Cleopatra.” The folk rock band first came into the music scene back in 2012 with their viral hit “Ho Hey,” introducing their cheerful foot stomping and banjo playing filled sound to the world. With the immediate success of their first album, their influence on the music industry slowly faded into the background until early February of this year, when both the track list for “Cleopatra” and the album’s lead single “Ophelia” were released.

The album in its entirety was added to music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music on April 8. “Ophelia” slowly made its way into many playlists, catching the attention of listeners and bringing The Lumineers’ official return to the forefront. “Cleopatra” is comprised of eleven songs, though a deluxe edition also exists with four additional songs.

The Lumineers everyone came to love have maintained their original vibe, incorporating just as many stomps, smooth vocals, and piano melodies into their music, though their usual folk sound appears to have taken a back seat. As with many artists, ideas and styles change over time, and though years have gone by and aspects of their style have changed, The Lumineers still seem to hold onto their originality.

When the band made the decision to make music again in January of 2015, front man Wesley Shultz said that the group “rented a little house in Denver and spent our days there for about six months…We simulated the way we did things back home—we just ground away.”

As the band members have claimed, “Cleopatra” has a noticeably heavier sound, which Shultz attributes to his experience with music when he was younger, explaining how it was about “being transitory; never being stuck.” Schultz added that the lifestyle of a musician can make him crazy.

Kmeron Photo, Courtesy of Flickr
Kmeron Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

The meanings of their songs go from passion for fame and realizing that it doesn’t last forever, as described in“Ophelia,” to being the opposite of what people expect, to the desire to confront life, as expressed in “Cleopatra.”

The band acknowledged that it took them almost four years to come out with another album, and revealed that they certainly felt the pressure to release one. To this, Shultz’s response was that the band would “rather just develop a trust with listeners that when [they] put something out, [they] feel it’s ready. Every little sound you hear on this record was intentional.”

Be sure to check out “Cleopatra” on Spotify, Apple Music, or any other music outlet and let us know what you think!

Feature Image: Thomas Hawk Photo, Courtesy of Flickr URL