On January 14, 2022, the group known as The Lumineers, made up of Wesley Shultz and Jerimiah Fraites, released their album “BRIGHTSIDE.” This is the latest album they have put out since 2019 when they released “III”, which had songs such as “Life In The City” and “April.” The Lumineers blessed their fans with a nine track album of very relaxing and beautiful songs that draw inspiration from deep topics including love, happiness and car crashes. To give a general overview of what the album feels like, it is a very free-flowing setlist that exudes child-like wonder. The artists took notes from road music, and the album gives off a sense of simplicity and feelings of being a free spirit. It pulls from elements of previous works flawlessly and perfects aspects of their craft. Each song tells its own story that still builds onto a larger theme of hope. It’s unfortunate how short the album is, but it offers a good time regardless. Many music critics and articles have described this album as carefree, less calculated and a relaxing journey. Some of the songs on the album that many people have highlighted are “BRIGHTSIDE,” “WHERE WE ARE,” and “A.M. RADIO.”
The title track, “BRIGHTSIDE”, was released on September 20, 2021 as a single and currently has over 3 million streams on Spotify. It very quickly reached the top of the Adult Alternative Airplay charts and is currently sitting at number four. The group has gone on several talk shows as well as interviews online to talk about “BRIGHTSIDE,” and has mentioned the fact that this particular song took one day to record. During an interview, Shultz went on to say the following: “‘BRIGHTSIDE,’ that song, we recorded in one day. Normally that would take a week for us ‘cause we would do everything so clinically and separately.” The acoustic guitar in this song adds an element of simplicity while the vocals and percussion add more power, making the listener want more.
One of the songs they released on the album is “WHERE WE ARE”. This song is not very similar to any of their prior works, but it still carries a very strong message and sounds delightfully rhythmic and melodic. According to an article in the New York Times, the writing process of this song was based on a terrible car accident. Shultz was driving with his girlfriend when it suddenly started to rain and snow. As he was taking a turn, his car began to hydroplane then became airborne before crashing off the side of the highway. Luckily, both he and his girlfriend made it out of the crash with limited injuries, but the haunting events led Shultz and Fraites to compose this song. The chorus of this song is rhythmic and brings up themes of hopefulness in its lyrics: “I don’t know where we are / But it’ll be ok”.
Another song that was released prior to the album is titled “A.M. RADIO.” This song sounds similar to the song “Angela,” which was on their album “Cleopatra.” It carries the same message through its lyrics, speaking to topics of love and the loss of someone you have loved. They also share a similar tune with the acoustic guitar and vocals. This song has the longest recorded chorus throughout any of the Lumineers’ songs thus far and is meant to be an anthem for “the supernatural pull of one’s calling in life.” We can see this theme through some of the lines in the chorus: “Long as you run / I will not give you up.” This song contains piano that flutters alongside the acoustic guitar, and the vocals fit perfectly. It contains a bridge that climbs up to a very dramatic chorus and draws in the attention of the listener right away.
This album is a testament to what the term “free spirit” means. It builds off of elements from previous works and improves them. Each song is unique in its own way and creates a very personal experience between the listener and the group. If you enjoy music that makes you think or feel, I highly recommend you listen to this album.