Dear Wesley, Jeremiah, and Neyla,
I have 12th row seats for The Lumineers show here in Winnipeg tonight and the timing is perfect. I got into your band in 2015, three years after the self-titled album and the performance at the Grammys–which seemed like kind of unfortunate timing because The Lumineers, for all I knew, went into hibernation. Indefinitely.
I bought your first studio record off a friend who was selling all her shit to move out of town or something. That album was my anthem for leaving too–I was planning a two month backpacking trip to Asia in the spring of that year.
I know the song Charlie Boy sounds like it’s about going to war (perhaps?) but I listened to it probably 200 times in the weeks leading up to leaving, it’s just such a simple, almost haunting song. But to me it is hopeful. It has a quick and rising rhythm that crescendoes with that deep cello sound, setting my insides aflame.
So when I started to hear whisperings of a new album in the works I was beyond ecstatic. And a year later in the spring of 2016 it exceeded all my expectations. People always complain that an album is either too different or similar to the previous, but Cleopatra was–to me–the perfect sequel to build on your signature sound. It became another anthem to my spring time.
Here in my hometown of Winnipeg, the winters are brutal and spirit-crushing, and this album unthawed my frozen soul, and continues to do so every spring. So here’s a cheesy poem I wrote, inspired by the music:
I want to strap on a guitar and head out the door,
play shows to empty rooms and Sleep on the Floor,
I want to sing to Cleopatra on a highway somewhere,
Where The Skies Are Blue like her deep ocean stare.
My Eyes are brown, and careful where they lurk,
“You’re A Long Way From Home,” she’ll say with a smirk.
I’ll tell a White Lie, say I know where I’m going,
As a Gale Song wind starts hissing and blowing.
In The Light of dusk her Patience is waning,
I swear I’ll hurry up, I’m a performer in training.
So she lets me sing on, I say “I’m Sick In The Head,
love’s as deadly as a Gun, (but a) Song puts you to bed.”
When I’m done she says: Everyone Requires A Plan,
I confess I never had one, I only ever ran.
So Cleopatra did join me and helped me unthaw,
And all the places we went, oh the things that we saw.
We married out west, saved souvenirs and memorabilia,
Then we raised two young daughters: Angela and Ophelia.