The Lumineers are an American folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado. The band currently consists of Wesley Schultz (lead vocalist and guitarist) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums and percussion). The two started writing and performing material in 2005 in Ramsey, New Jersey. Neyla Pekarek joined the band in 2010 as a cellist and backing vocalist but left in October 2018 to pursue a solo career. The two moved to Denver in 2009 due to the struggles of living in New York City. The struggles included high rent and the fact that they’re in a city that would help them “grow musically but then never have any time to work on music,” according to Schultz in an interview.
Schultz and Fraites met Pekarek in 2010 after they relocated to Denver. The three then met Maxwell Hughes who then became their fourth member who wasn’t really a member. Hughes contributed to the band’s debut album but then parted ways with them since they weren’t looking for a permanent fourth member. The band signed a deal with Onto Entertainment in Spring 2011 to record a full-length album. In December 2011, the band’s first single entitled “Ho Hey” was used in the season finale of CW’s “Hart of Dixie,” which created a storm of support on social media. In January 2012, “Ho Hey” would be played twice in a row daily for a week on KEXP-FM based in Seattle. The band signed with Dualtone Records that same month, rejecting major label offers because “with these smaller labels, people work 12 or 15 hour days to ensure our records are in the stores, and that we’re getting played at radio,” according to Fraites in an interview. The band’s self-titled debut album was released on April 3, 2012, with mixed/positive reception, with a score of 73 on Meteoritic and an 8/10 on Musicperk.com.
“Ho Hey” debuted at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 14, 2012. This was the band’s first song to do so. The song eventually climbed to #3, becoming the band’s first top 5 single. The single achieved many more impressive feats including #1 on Alternative Songs and #1 on Adult Alternative Songs (Triple-A radio) for 8 weeks. The band released “Winter,” an EP version of their debut album, in November 2012. The band was then nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album in December 2012. “Ho Hey” would then spend eight weeks on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs consecutively. “Stubborn Love,” another single from the band’s debut album, had two four-week runs on the Adult Alternative Songs chart. “Submarines” was released as the third single from the band’s debut album at the end of July 2013. The band released a deluxe version of their debut album on August 20, 2013. The deluxe version included 5 bonus tracks, 25 minutes of bonus footage, and a 28-page booklet.
The band composed “The Hanging Tree,” a song featured in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.” The band announced on Instagram in September 2014 that they were working on a new album. The first single from their newest album was a song entitled “Ophelia,” released in February 2016. The song rose to #1 on the Triple A chart where it would stay for 13 weeks. The band released a second single entitled “Cleopatra” in late-March 2016; the song peaked at #2 on Triple A radio and stayed at #1 on Alternative radio for two weeks. The band then released their third single entitled “Angela” in April 2016, rising to #2 on Triple A radio and reaching top 5 of Alternative radio on the week of December 11, 2017. The band’s second album entitled “Cleopatra” was released on April 8, 2016. The band released an EP entitled “C-Sides” in July 2018, featuring the songs “Scotland,” “For Fra,” and “Visions of China.” The band then covered Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Walls” on the one-year anniversary of Petty’s death in October 2018. The band’s latest release (and the band’s first song since Neyla Pekarek’s departure) is a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Paper,” released in December 2018.