The Lumineers Capture the Sound of the Sparks in “III”

Photo Courtesy of The Lumineers.

Photo Courtesy of The Lumineers.

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The Lumineers, a folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado, have come a long way since their initial 2012 Billboard hit “Ho Hey”. The band’s newest album, aptly titled “III,” is their third studio album, coming three years after their last release in 2016. To stick with this recurring theme of thirds, the album has been released over the past few months into three separate EPs, each one chronicling a member of the album’s fictional Sparks family. 

 

At the time of this publication, the band is in the midst of releasing cinematic music videos alongside each song that will form one story once combined—a similar effort to what they did with five songs from their sophomore album “Cleopatra.” This album is the first without former cellist Neyla Pekarek.

 

The music and subsequent visual additions of “III” explain the story of three generations of the fictitious Sparks family grappling with the not-always-delicate sensitivity surrounding alcoholism and addiction. While the overall album definitely has a more somber concept and tone, The Lumineers approach the topics with musicality within each song that rivals the success of their predecessors. 

 

In typical Lumineers fashion, there are a few upbeat, easy-listening tracks with contrastingly haunting lyrics, such as “Gloria,” one of the first singles released from the album, and t “Life In The City,” which includes a reference to lyrics from “Cleopatra”’s “Sleep On The Floor.” Another interesting point of musicianship is the decision to use the same melody throughout “Gloria” and at the end of Leader of the Landslide” in different contexts, which elicit different emotions for a listener. Other stand-out tracks, due to their strong lyrics, include “Democracy” (a bonus track) and “Left for Denver.”

With “III,” The Lumineers once again prove that they know what they’re doing when it comes to capturing the folksy, timeless sound that appeals to Americana fans while relaying poignant storytelling lyrics. This effective use of organic sound and sensitive lyrics ensures that “III” and the songs on it make for great additions to autumnal playlists, and a great new release for The Lumineers.