Often compared to British folk darlings Mumford & Sons, Colorado-based The Lumineers’ debut self-titled album, shows that some mightily fine folk-rock is happening on both sides of the Atlantic – they are, shall we say, doing their part to bring Americana back to America.

Opener ‘Flowers In Your Hair’, as sweetly nostalgic as holding hands on a porch swing, announces the album’s solid foundation in the American folk tradition. Another highlight, ‘Big Parade’, builds up slowly and self-assuredly. Here lead vocalist Wesley Shultz’s intonation is particularly noticeable in parts, calling to mind a younger, politer-sounding Bob Dylan.

Featuring a cellist-come-mandolinist in the band’s three-person lineup, we are happily not lacking for aural variety. However, it is the claps, the “ho’s” and the “hey’s” (for a particular example of this, see track five, ‘Ho Hey’) and the general foot-stomping atmosphere that are the real points of note.

It perhaps explains the feeling of there being something lacking in the album. Such musical accoutrements can only be diminished through the recording process – they need to be experienced live. Happily for those in the US and UK, The Lumineers are currently on tour. Australia however, will just have to wait a little longer to experience these songs the way they were no doubt intended.

– Serrin Prior

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