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The Lumineers' self-titled debut is an illuminating collection of ragged folk-rock. The Denver-based trio of Wesley Schultz, Jeremiah Fraites and Neyla Pekarek describes itself as "born out of sorrow, powered by passion, ripened by hard work." These three elements are strongly evident in the group's raw and reflective music, which not only calls to mind folk contemporaries such as The Avett Brothers and Blitzen Trapper, but also accounts for its members' experiences with personal tragedy.
"Sorrow" and "passion" course through The Lumineers' history, as Schultz and Fraites began to play together after the loss of Josh Fraites, Jeremiah's brother and Schultz's best friend. Together, they create an emotional sound out of soft piano, mandolin and cello, courtesy of Pekarek, who is classically trained. The result is an impressively balanced act that churns out powerful and personal music, both live and in the studio. The Lumineers' first full-length record is due for release in March, and you can hear two songs from it on today's installment of World Cafe: Next.