This album does more than just tell a story. It pulls you in, shakes you from your cushy reality and takes you on the tragic journey of the fictional Spark family. From the first song, you are engulfed in the familiar sound of windshield wipers during a spring rain. A beat that we’ve all sung along to, but might not admit.
The hypnotic pulse begins slow and quiet as if to underscore your own life. The words cut in, letting your mind sway. You are introduced to the Spark family and drawn back to your own childhood—welcome to the album.
Once you’re inside the story, The Lumineers leverage that emotional connection to open up a dialogue surrounding addiction. They expose the raw truth behind the disease that many families deal with behind closed doors. The album’s strong narrative follows three generations affected by the cycle of addiction and shows how it manifests in each family member.
By using film to complement their album and further tell their story, The Lumineers have truly raised the bar. Both the album and the film are stand-alone pieces of art putting an end to the era of half-assed lyrical storytelling.
The Lumineers have the gift of producing an intimate show, no matter the venue. Their past album tours have had the power to somehow create a community feel in sold-out arenas while making audience members feel like they are the only one in the crowd. When their gift of inherent intimacy collides with an album as gritty and raw as III, it’s sure to create an experience unlike any other.
The story is rooted in the band members’ experience with addiction. The album gives lead singer Wesley Schultz, and drummer Jeremiah Fraites, a chance to unearth the effects it has had on their own lives. Many of the songs were inspired by Schultz’s family member, an addict who he and his family have given endless resources and love to with no avail. He opens up about her in an interview with Variety. Addiction also took Fraites’ brother at a young age. “It’s a progressive disease,” he told NPR, “it’s not something where you just wake up and you’re homeless and you’re begging for crack or heroin.”
A heavy topic so close to the heart is sure to create an emotionally charged performance that strips down each song to reveal the soul behind every word. The tour kicks off on January 18 at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. They hope to create an open dialogue about addiction to show others who are struggling that they are not alone.