Throwback Thursday: The Lumineers

My love for alternative rock stems from The Lumineers and their first album.

I remember one of my favorite actors (Colton Haynes) posting a screenshot of the song “Slow It Down” onto his instagram page when I was in high school, so I decided to check the album out, because I never heard of them before.  They were my gateway into listening to different music, and I am forever thankful for them.  The Lumineers are comprised of founding members Wesley Schultz (guitar, lead vocals) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion).  They were joined by Neyla Pekarek (cello, vocals) in 2010.

The Lumineers

The Lumineers (2012)

The album opens up with a short song called “Flowers in Your Hair.”  It starts the album off with a very old school feel, and sets the tone for the rest of the songs.  From the lyrics, down to the production, it captivates you.

The third song, “Submarines,” tells the story of Schultz’s grandfather seeing a submarine and everyone labeling him a liar.  The second verse is as follows: “I did spy a periscope, dead of night on the eastern coast, the police made them jokes, told me I’d seen a ghost, everyone thinks I’m a liar, no one knows the truth, if it was a bigger fire, I would be on the roof.”

Following this track is one of the most beautiful love songs, “Dead Sea.”  “You told me I was like the dead sea, you’ll never sink when you are with me.”  Schultz puts a lot of himself and his experiences into his music.  The music he writes tends to be about his life, or stories others have told him about theirs.

Next, is The Lumineers’s biggest single, “Ho Hey.”  This song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the last week of the year 2012, and it remained on the chart for 62 weeks.

The eighth track, “Big Parade,” The Lumineers take us back in time to the 1960s, singing about John. F Kennedy, as the blue-eyed boy from the United States.  The rest of the five-minute story speaks of many other American traditions like civil war, faith, and music.

The Lumineers 2013

The album ends with the heart wrenching “Morning Song.”  A song that outlines the details of a break up.  Schultz asks many questions in the song, asking his former lover if it was easier for her to leave than to stay and fix their relationship.  He goes through the emotions, jealously, resentment, bitterness.

To this day, The Lumineers, is one of my favorite albums.  Listen to it on Spotify here.

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Throwback Thursday: My Oldest Friend

In 2012, four-piece indie rock band from Baltimore, Maryland, Have Mercy, released their debut EP, My Oldest Friend.  The EP contains four tracks, and is 12 minutes long.  The band’s original members were Aaron Alt (drums), Nick Woolford (bass guitar, backing vocals), Andrew Johnson (guitar, backing vocals), and Brian Swindle (lead vocals, guitar).  Swindle is the only founding member that remains in the band.

My Oldest Friend earned them a record deal in 2013, with Topshelf Records, later being signed to Hopeless Records in 2014.  Other notable bands signed under Hopeless Records would be Neck Deep, Moose Blood, The Ready Set, Sum 41, Tonight Alive, The Used, The Wonder Years, and Yellowcard.

Have Mercy mesh indie rock with post-hardcore, punk, and emo feelings.  Their driving drum tracks aligned with their hardcore melodies showcase their songwriting talent as a band.

Have Mercy’s most popular track is a song called “Let’s Talk About Your Hair.”  This song is so emotional and raw.  The song deals with post-breakup feelings, and dwelling on the past.  It starts out with “We went to bed that night, and dreamed of better things… I always wondered when you stopped loving me.”   The chorus follows with “I know that you know that I know that you don’t really care, let’s talk about your hair and how its grown and how that we’re not getting anywhere.”  The former couple is making small talk, but the girl is obviously uninterested, and the smalltalk gets them nowhere.  The second verse changes from the first, when Swindle sings “I went to bed that night, and dreamed of better things.”  His we changed to an I.  This track has over 3.8 million listens on Spotify, and the band itself has around 150 thousand monthly listeners.

Check out Have Mercy on Spotify here.

Throwback Thursday: Room for Squares

Room For Squares is the debut album from rock/pop/blues singer-songwriter and producer John Mayer, which was released in 2001, when he was just 24 years old.  Room For Squares features his hit singles, “No Such Thing,” which peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” which peaked at #18.  The Connecticut native earned a Grammy award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2003 for Wonderland.

The acoustic rock album follows themes of a younger version of himself.  In “No Such Thing,” he sings about going back to high school and screaming on the top of his lungs.   “I just can’t wait til my ten year reunion
I’m gonna bust down the double doors
And when I stand on these tables before you
You will know what all this time was for.”  He is referencing him becoming a musician.  Even his parents forced him to go to college.  Although he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, he dropped out.  In his song “83” he references going back to 1983, when he was 6 years old, singing “what ever happened to my lunchbox?”  He struggles with the idea of getting older.

John Mayer live in 2007

Room For Squares laid the foundation for the rest of Mayer’s career.  Even though the album was released in 2001, it did not peak on the Billboard 200 until 2003.  It spent 95 weeks on the chart.  The seven time Grammy Award winning artist has faced many struggles in his professional and personal life, just like anyone else in the spotlight.  His newest album The Search for Everything was released earlier this year.