The Lumineers

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The Lumineers
The Lumineers 2013.jpg
The Lumineers in 2013
Background information
Origin Denver, Colorado, U.S.,
Ramsey, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Indie folk, folk rock, Americana
Years active 2005–present
Labels Dualtone
Members Wesley Schultz
Jeremiah Fraites
Neyla Pekarek
Stelth Ulvang
Ben Wahamaki
Past members Jay Van Dyke
Maxwell Hughes

The Lumineers are a folk rock band, based in Denver, Colorado. The two founding members and songwriters of the Lumineers are Wesley Schultz (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion). Schultz and Fraites began writing and performing together in New Jersey in 2005. Neyla Pekarek (cello, vocals) joined the band in 2010. Stelth Ulvang (piano), and Ben Wahamaki (bass), joined the band as full-time members in 2012.[1][2]

The band's self-titled debut album was released on Dualtone Records on April 3, 2012, eventually peaking at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in January 2013. As of December 2013, their debut album has been certified Platinum in the US and Ireland, with Gold certifications in the UK, Australia and Canada.


2005–10: Formation[edit]

In the spring of 2005, Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites began to collaborate, writing together and playing gigs around New York City mostly under the name Wesley Jeremiah.[3] Originally based in Ramsey, New Jersey, they later moved to Brooklyn, New York. They would later move to Denver, Colorado. It was there they met Neyla Pekarek through an ad on Craigslist for a cellist.[4][5] In the Spring of 2011, they signed a management deal with Onto Entertainment which funded the band to record a full length album in Seattle at Bear Creek Studio with producer Ryan Hadlock,[6] [7]

2011–12: "Ho Hey"[edit]

At 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on August 2, 2012; touring with Old Crow Medicine Show. Wesley Schultz on acoustic guitar (right), Neyla Pekarek on cello (left).

In December 2011, what would become the band's first single, "Ho Hey", was used in the season finale of CW's Hart of Dixie. This started a national buzz on social media.[8] In January 2012, John Richards, the morning show DJ at KEXP-FM in Seattle, discovered "Ho Hey" in a pile of new CDs he had received, played it twice in a row daily for a week, and called it the best song of 2012.[9] WXPN Philadelphia/ NPR then did a feature on the band on their "World Cafe: Next" program. The band passed up major label offers to sign a deal with independent label Dualtone Records[8] that same month. The album was then licensed under similar terms to Dine Alone Records in Canada, Inertia in Australia, and Decca Records for the rest of the world.

The Lumineers was released on April 3, 2012 on Dualtone Records. The band's popularity continued to build in 2012 with sold-out shows and favorable reviews with The Bears Of Blue River and other American bands, and their debut album went on to peak at number 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.[10][11] On June 14, 2012, the album's first single "Ho Hey" debuted at number 90 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, their first song to do so. "Ho Hey" later peaked at number 3 on the Hot 100,[12] making it the band's first Top 5 single, and as of December 2012, the single had sold over 2 million copies, making it their first Double Platinum single. By June 23, "Ho Hey" hit No.1 at commercial Triple A radio, where it spent 8 weeks, and on September 17 the song hit #1 on the Alternative Radio chart where it stayed for two weeks. "Ho Hey" reached #1 on the US Hot AC airplay chart in December 2012, and #2 on the US Top 40 airplay chart, which makes it the highest charting independent label single in the history of the charts. "Ho Hey" is also having huge success internationally, reaching #1 on the Canadian Alternative radio chart and #17 on the Canadian single sales chart. It also reached number 8[13] in the United Kingdom, becoming their first Top 10 single there. In October, 2012, Spotify named "Ho Hey" as the most shared song in Manhattan, and 3rd most shared in Brooklyn.[14] "Ho Hey" has also been the #1 most played track in the US on Spotify, while "The Lumineers" has been the #1 most listened to album for several weeks. In the UK Spotify chart "Ho Hey" is #1, and "The Lumineers" is #2. Of the album's success, Schultz told American Songwriter that "It's really arbitrary to any of us, especially to Jer and Neyla and I... because we've never really had an album out in this way... I'm really thrilled, but I also take it with a grain of salt... I think basically, I feel really lucky because I know how fickle the business, the industry is."[1]

The Lumineers headline shows in the Northeastern US were announced for February 2013, and quickly sold out.[15] Similarly, the band's tours of the UK, Europe, and Australia in early 2013 has sold out all shows, after many shows were moved to larger venues. On December 5, 2012, The Lumineers were nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album. rated the album 8/10 quoting "A spark of uniqueness does exist".[16] Submarines was released as the third single on July 30, 2013.

2013–present: "The Hanging Tree"[edit]

On August 20, 2013, The Lumineers released Winter, a deluxe edition of their self-titled debut album. The deluxe edition includes 5 bonus tracks, over 25 minutes of video footage, and a 28 page booklet. The song by the Lumineers titled "Scotland" is currently being used as the theme song for the television series Reign. "Scotland" is co-written and features a performance from a former member of the band, Jay Van Dyke.[17] They have also been featured in soundtracks for Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Walking Dead.

"The Hanging Tree" is a song performed by James Newton Howard featuring American actress Jennifer Lawrence for the 2014 film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the third installment of The Hunger Games film series. The song appears on both the official score album for the film, and on the digital re-release of the official soundtrack for the film.[18] The lyrics were written by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins and originally appeared in her novel Mockingjay. The music was composed by Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz.[19][20] Following its release, "The Hanging Tree" debuted in the top 40 of the singles charts of Australia,[21] the United Kingdom,[22] and the United States.[23] The song will impact American mainstream radio stations on December 9, 2014.[24]

Musical style[edit]

The Lumineers performing at the Rock4G concert in 2012.

Fraites emphasizes the simplicity of the group's style.

We’re not reinventing the wheel or doing anything that different, the songs are super simple. The ideas themselves are very simple ideas. Anyone who can play an instrument can play a Lumineers song. I think there’s a certain cinematic aspect of our music that I really like.[25]

Press descriptions of the music:

The Lumineers' self-titled debut is a perfectly formed collection of rustic folk type songs, slotting in nicely amongst the current roots revival.[26]

Where most bands these days look for that new, original sound to enhance the digital revolution, 'The Lumineers' do superbly in taking it back to simplicity.[27]


The band cites a diverse range of influences including Beethoven, Guns N' Roses, Talking Heads, Bruce Springsteen, and "cinematic music and anything strange and weird." [28]


  • Wesley Keith Schultz – lead vocals, guitar, piano (2005–present)
  • Jeremiah Caleb Fraites – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals, mandolin, glockenspiel (2005–present)
  • Neyla Pekarek – cello, bass, percussion, backing vocals (2010–present)
  • Stelth Ulvang – piano, mandolin, accordion, guitar, banjo, clarinet, glockenspiel, double bass, trombone, trumpet, flute, drums, backing vocals (2012–present)
  • Ben Wahamaki – bass guitar, upright bass, guitar (2012–present)

Past members[edit]

  • Jay Van Dyke - drums, backing vocals, keyboards
  • Maxwell Hughes - guitar


Awards and nominations[edit]

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 The Lumineers Top New Artist Nominated
The Lumineers Top Rock Artist Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 The Lumineers Best New Artist Nominated
The Lumineers Best Americana Album Nominated


  1. ^ a b Riggs, Liz (April 26, 2012). "Chatting It Up With: The Lumineers". American Songwriter. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (April 12, 2012). "Lumineers specialize in audience participation". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Band In Boston Podcast". 
  4. ^ Leggett, Steve. "The Lumineers: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Murphy, Tom. "The Lumineers she light on Denver and their evolving sound". Westworld. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Jerry Streeter. "Jerry Streeter | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  7. ^ Grant Hathaway. "Grant Hathaway | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  8. ^ a b Morris, Christopher. "Band Shines on Slow Road". Variety. Retrieved 22 Sep 2012. 
  9. ^ "‘Ho Hey’ – The Lumineers". The Barking. Bark. Retrieved 6 January 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  10. ^ "The Lumineers: Charts & Awards". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Grise, Chrisanne (April 20, 2012). "Indie rock trio The Lumineers sees hard work pay off". Blast. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "UK singles: top 75", A charts, US 
  14. ^ "Spotify Tells Us What New Yorkers Are Listening Too When They're Ignoring Each Other On The Subway". Music Awards. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Tour dates, The Lumineers 
  16. ^ "The Lumineers", Musicperk 
  17. ^ "BMI Catalog". 
  18. ^ "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ Brandle, Lars (November 30, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence's 'The Hanging Tree' Nabs Top 20 Debuts in U.K., Australia". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1 (Original Motion Picture Score) by James Newton Howard". iTunes Store. Australia: Apple. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Taylor Swift Is Number 1 ARIA Single". Noise11. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence has entered the UK singles chart with The Hanging Tree". Metro. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  23. ^ Keith Claufiled and Gary Trust (November 4, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence Debuts on Hot 100: 'The Hanging Tree' Bows at No. 12". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Top 40/Mainstream Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Retrieved December 5, 2014. [not in citation given]
  25. ^ Johnson, Francie (September 13, 2012). "Colorado bands brings folk music to Birmingham". The Crimson White (UA). Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "The Lumineers", Contact music (album review) 
  27. ^ "The Lumineers", Launchpad venue (album review) 
  28. ^ Comment * (2012-10-16). "Jeremiah Fraites | The Lumineers' diverse influences". Retrieved 2014-04-21. 

External links[edit]