The Lumineers - Cleopatra
It took four years for The Lumineers to follow up their platinum-plus self-titled debut - which spent 46 weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaked at #2 - but Cleopatra is well worth the wait. During that time, The Lumineers - whose original members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites founded the band in Ramsey, New Jersey back in 2002 - earned a pair of Grammy nominations (Best New Artist, Best Americana Album).
Cleopatra proves Schultz and Fraites - along with cellist/vocalist Neyla Pekarek- are neither taking their good fortune for granted, nor sitting back on their laurels. With the help of producer Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Avett Brothers), the man Wesley calls "our shaman," the band ensconced themselves in Clubhouse, a recording studio high atop a hill in rural Rhinebeck, N.Y., not far from Woodstock. The band had total artistic freedom in writing and recording the album, so Wesley and Jer pushed the envelope on experimental tracks like the stream-of-consciousness, purposely lo-fi "Sick in the Head," the yearning, piano chord build-up of "In the Light," or the closing orchestral instrumental, the aptly titled coda, "Patience." "We continue to make the kind of records we want to," says Wesley. "We believe in this music. It's a true labor of love. We just want to keep reaching more people with our songs." Given the evidence on The Lumineers' eagerly anticipated sophomore album Cleopatra, that shouldn't be a problem.