The folk-rock band The Lumineers, known for their single “Ho Hey,” returned this year with their sophomore album “Cleopatra.” Released on April 8th by Dualtone Records, the album follows the precedent of the folkish rock/pop sound set by their self-titled debut album.
After a four year break since their last album, the band returned stronger than ever with this album, which is predicted to reach number one on the Billboard 200 Chart. “Cleopatra” features many similarities to The Lumineers’ past album, with the stark difference being the more mellow tone the new album adopts.
Whereas their debut album had its fair share of upbeat songs, “Cleopatra” consists mainly of emotional ballads. The lyrics are darker and the tracks more stripped than before. The solemn tone featured in the new album makes it overall a more beautiful and poignant piece than its predecessor. The album, however, does not forget to feature some songs with the dance-inducing aspect that the previous album provided.
— The Lumineers (@thelumineers) April 14, 2016
When asked why there has been such a gap between records, frontman Wesley Schultz responded that he wanted to be meticulous with the formation of the album.
“I’d rather just develop a trust with listeners that when we put something out, we feel it’s ready. Every little sound you hear on this record was intentional,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
In the same interview, he addressed the title of the album, “Cleopatra.” The song, he relays, is actually about a taxi driver he knows named Manana who was “the bedrock” of the album.
“We live in a country full of Instagram and pictures of life more beautiful than you ever thought it could be, and she comes from the exact opposite perspective and she doesn’t ask for pity. She has a willingness to confront life,” Schultz explained.
Lifelong friends Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites formed the band after Jeremiah’s brother, Shultz’s best friend, died of a drug overdose. It is this reason that many of their songs are dark lyrically, and address topics and concepts that “confront life,” just as Manana does. The Lumineers do not shy away from topics simply because they are difficult to talk about, they embrace and confront them, a factor demonstrated by the new album’s title, content, and emotional effect.
1. “Sleep on the Floor”
4. “Gun Song”
6. “In the Light”
7. “Gale Song”
8. “Long Way from Home”
10. “My Eyes”
Deluxe Version Bonus Tracks:
12. “Where the Skies Are Blue”
13. “Everyone Requires a Plan”
14. “White Lie”
15. “Cleopatra (Live)”