The Lumineers

“Wesley Schultz, 9, who wants to be an artist, said, ‘I spend a lot of time on my drawings and it turns out good ’cause I’ve been practicing a lot.'”

-The New York Times, 3/15/92

Twenty years ago, Wesley Schultz saw the future.

Back then, growing up in the New York City suburb of Ramsey, New Jersey, Wesley spent his days drawing. Today, as bandleader of The Lumineers, Wesley’s replaced his pencil with a guitar and his drawings with songs.  He still practices a lot, and it still turns out good.

In the spring of 2005, childhood friends Wesley and Jeremiah began to collaborate, writing together and playing gigs around New York. After battling the city’s cutthroat music scene and impossibly high cost of living, the two decided to expand their horizons. They packed everything they owned—nothing more than a couple suitcases of clothes and a trailer full of musical instruments—and headed for Denver, Colorado. It was less a pilgrimage than act of stubborn hopefulness.

The first thing they did in Denver was place a Craigslist ad for a cellist, and the first person to respond was Neyla Pekarek, a classically trained Denver native. As a trio, they began playing at the Meadowlark, a gritty basement club where the city’s most talented songwriters gathered every Tuesday for an open mic and dollar PBRs. Neyla softened Wes and Jer’s rough edges while expanding her skills to mandolin and piano. And so The Lumineers sound took shape; an amalgam of  heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock, classic pop, and front-porch folk.

In 2011, an eponymous, self-recorded EP led to a self-booked tour, and before long The Lumineers started attracting devout fans, first across the Western US, then back in their old East Coast stomping grounds. Young, old and in-between, they’re drawn by songs like “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love,” Americana-inflected barnburners in the vein of the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. They’re drawn by songs like “Slow it Down” and “Dead Sea,” slow, sultry ballads that suggest the raw revelations of Jeff Buckley and Ryan Adams. They’re drawn by the live Lumineers experience—a coming-together in musical solidarity against isolation, adversity, and despair.

The roots revival of the last few years has primed listeners for a new generation of rustic, heart-on-the-sleeve music—the kind that nods to tradition while setting off into uncharted territory. The Lumineers walk that line with an unerring gift for timeless melodies and soul-stirring lyrics

Powered by passion, ripened by hard work, The Lumineers have found their sound when the world needs it most.

12 Responses to “The Lumineers Bio”
  1. Tommy G. says:

    I am very critical of bands coming together and fogging up the music scene.. The Lumineers are for real! Keep going and never give up.. I love what you are doing. Thank you

  2. Brett in VA says:

    A good friend from Boulder told me about you guys. I fell in love with your music. You make me smile. Thank you.

  3. presto says:

    It’s soft, but it rocks.

  4. Bill Wolfe says:

    The Lumineers create in me the exact same beautifully vulnerable feeling I had when I first saw Head and The Heart on stage in Seattle, the day before their first CD release. And we see what became of them in quite a short amount of time.

    “Ho Hey” is all I know Wes et al for at the moment, and that’s precisely where I want it until April 3rd. There’s so much to be gained for me in that tremendous piece of music, it’s absolutely awe inspiring. Keep up the great work, guys! And if you need a place to stay in Seattle on or around the Neumos gig (and your Sonic Boom in-store?), I’d be honored to oblige.

  5. Loan says:

    04/11/12 will be the greatest day of my life.. I will be seeing you live in Minneapolis. I can’t stop listening to you guys and I don’t want to… ever! “Slow it Down” just melts my heart. I can’t wait for your album to come out and I wish you all the greatest success.

  6. K says:

    I am blown away by all of you. You guys can do no wrong and your talent is clearly remarkable. Can’t wait for the album in March!! Just saw the new concert released in Denver @bluebird….see you guys there!

  7. Indira says:

    I confess that I heard “Ho Hey” on a show and fell in love with the music. I looked up the song, got to the band and have been listening to your music on the website. You have managed to create such a refreshing sound. I have really enjoyed listening to your music. I look forward to seeing you in Brooklyn!!!!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks to Daytrotter I have found yet another wonderful band to become obsessed with! I cannot wait to own your album (yes, it’s preordered)!!

  9. Lara says:

    Absolutely in love.

  10. Aaron says:

    The lumineers, to me started out as one of the aquired taste type bands that i listened. But soon became very much so one of the most powerful influences on my own music. The clarity of what music i really was meant to play is such an amazing thing. Thank you very much wes, jeremiah and neyla. You’ve done such a great service to someone you will probably never know, just by making great music.

  11. caitlyn says:

    I am in love with The Lumineers.. I can’t explain how captivated I’ve become listening to theirr music. Every song is amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing and I will continue to be a devouted fan!!

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