Bruce Rits Gilbert

Song 42 - - The Lumineers

When The Lumineers released their first album, it was kind of a big deal. It was released in 2012 by an independent label, Dualtone Records, and reached number 2 on the Billboard charts. But their success didn't happen overnight.

The two founding members, Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, played together for a bunch of years without much success (or at least without commercial success). After Wesley and Jeremiah randomly moved to Denver in 2010 to try to jump start their careers, they put an ad on Craig's List, looking for a cellist - - which is how they met Neyla Pekarek, who apparently was planning to become a music teacher until she answered the ad and was asked to join the band. 

After signing a management contract, one of their songs (Ho Hey) was featured in 2011 on Hart of Dixie, a TV show on the CW. That was the first step in the band's rapid rise to success. The second step was serious airplay on Seattle's KEXP where one of the DJs called Ho Hey the best song of 2012. And then the band was featured on WXPN's  syndicated World Cafe Live. And, next thing you know, Ho Hey seemed to be playing on every pop radio station in the country. All the time. And the Lumineers were well on their way to stardom. 

The one and only time that I saw The Lumineers was at a WXPN taping on April 5, 2016, just three days before their second album was released. So to prevent folks from taping their new songs, they required everyone to put locks (that XPN provided) on their cellphones. So (at least in theory) there were no private tapes made of that private show. It was a good show, although it felt a little subdued. Maybe because it was a private taping with only a few dozen folks there, the show didn't have the buzz and excitement that I imagine most Lumineers' shows have. Still, the second album, called Cleopatra, was a mega-hit, debuting at number 1 in the United States. 

The Lumineers are kind of right in my American / folk / pop wheelhouse. And there are a number of their songs that could be featured today. Ho Hey, of course, would be an obvious choice. Or maybe Cleopatra. But right from the beginning my favorite Lumineers song was a very cool, but probably rarely played on the radio, song called Flapper Girl. It's sweet. It's pretty. It randomly mentions Romeo, Juliet, Cadillacs and hair of gold. And it's kind of a perfect love song. 

So here it is: Song 42: The Lumineers doing Flapper Girl at KEXP in Seattle back in 2012. 

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