Lately I have found myself in a musical No Man's Land: too old to "get" my kids' overdubbed pop music and too young to switch over to my parents' easy listening. I remember when MTV actually played music videos and not only knew all the bands but probably could sing along to every song. If you know what a VJ is and thought legwarmers and bad perms were a good look, then you understand what I'm saying.
Well guess what, my fellow Generation Xers, I have discovered the Lumineers. Their self-titled album, which debuted in March, is just what I am looking for: upbeat and fun with lyrics that resonate. The Colorado-based trio was borne from the head and heart of New Jersey native Wesley Schultz, who lost his best friend to a drug overdose in 2002. He paired with his friend's younger brother Jeremiah Fraites, moved to Denver, found cellist Neyla Pekarek through Craisglist and the rest, as they say, is history.
Switch on the television and you've probably already heard lines from the debut single, "Ho Hey" in some recently advertised movies. It's been getting a lot of airtime on the radio and VH1 and the band has hit some of the late night talk show circuit. But the entire album is worth a listen: a great blend of stomp-and-clap, catchy melodies that are real enough that you can hear the squeak of the acoustic strings but not so artful that the weight of the darkening world is falling on your shoulders. The messages are clear, but the music is hopeful in a folksy Americana way. (Sometimes I just want to be entertained, man!)
Think John Mayer, Mumford and Sons, Ryan Adams. Not too hard, not too soft, not too young, not too old: for this 30-something mom, it's just right.
Recommended by Priscilla Garvin