Brightside — The Lumineers

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February historically is our coldest – yet most unpredictable – month. On Monday it may be 70 degrees and by Wednesday a frigid tundra. A sonic pantry of sound, color and comfort are the perfect sundries to warm the soul and usher in the new year, and Brightside, the latest release by The Lumineers, is the perfect log of awesome on the fire.

The duo of Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites have been expanding and searching for a sound that genuinely carves their notch in Americana music, and if this fourth studio release is a glimpse into the master-catalog carving, the Lumineers fanbase, as well as the world, is in for a pleasant surprise.

Brightside is a quick nine-track melodic-layered canvas of wide-stroked, raw and beautiful songs that fill the air with a simmering stock of love gained and lost with a glimmer of hope.

While every track is stellar, some notable standouts are the title track, “Brightside,” a rocker that harkens the spontaneity-vibe of the Beatles’ “I’ve Got a Feeling” with an intimate gig setting, and “AM Radio,” with a nostalgic waltz-swing, simplistic pop-hook appeal. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, this album is so dynamic that you’ll lose track of how many times it has looped before realizing it.

With every day, no matter the temperature, may you always recognize the bright side.

– Chris Rucker