The Lumineers have shown us the BRIGHTSIDE again

The Lumineers released BRIGHTSIDE, their first studio album since 2019s III, to acclaim from fans.

Dualtone Records [Fair Use]

The Lumineers released BRIGHTSIDE, their first studio album since 2019’s III, to acclaim from fans.

Lexi Holdiness, Staff Writer

In case you haven’t heard, The Lumineers released their fourth studio album and it’s the perfect way to start out the new year. The nine-song tracklist is relaxed, optimistic and nothing less than euphonious.  

BRIGHTSIDE makes the fourth indie-folk rock album on The Lumineers’s discography. Like its predecessors, BRIGHTSIDE walks the fine line between a melodramatic attempt to be edgy and a compilation of spirited ballads that bleed passion.  

The general lax tone of the album encourages it to be the type of thing you can play at any given moment. It’s blatantly obvious the songs weren’t written with the intention to be played at a party. Instead, the listener is meant to appreciate their message and simply enjoy them. There’s also incredible range throughout the songs. Some are faster, and the lyrics are optimistic and bright; these are the songs that set the positive mood. Then there are other tracks where the sonic elements dilute into a darker vibe and the lyrics become increasingly more sardonic; these are the songs that kill that positive mood.  

Every song exemplifies the one-of-a-kind voice of the lead singer, Wesley Schultz. It wouldn’t be The Lumineers without that iconic rasp and powerful tone. The passionate ballad element is quite literally alive on this album especially in the sixth track “NEVER REALLY MINE” where the heavy drum beats are paired with equally heavy vocals, the passionate ballad element is quite literally alive.  

The lyrical optimism flowing in songs like “BRIGHTSIDE” and “A.M. RADIO” contorts the entire vibe of the album into something different than anyone was expecting. It’s lighthearted and sanguine– the vibe that we need to be taking in 2022.  

Specific lyrics in certain songs help craft that positive, relaxed atmosphere most indie-folk rock ballads manifest. The song “REMINGTON” is quite possibly the saddest song on the album simply because of the sonic elements. The consistent bass layered on top of subtle drums and the raw emotion felt from the vocals create the perfect combination for a heart-throbbing song.  

The seventh track “ROLLERCOASTER” is the challenger to “REMINGTON” for the most depressing song in the album. While the latter wins on sonic levels, the previous takes the cake when it comes to lyrics. “I wish I could sail away / and find another island / I wish we could start it over / Have another child.” It’s the longing feeling to get away from the fate you feel you’ve pledged to, and to start over with something new. As much as you want to get away, it’s only a wish and not a reality. 

There are so many layers to BRIGHTSIDE as a publication and a musical piece. It’s a balance between hopeful and reminiscent. It’s a wonderful segue to start the new year off with. It’s the perfect background music for studying, reading or cleaning. It doesn’t really matter how you listen as long as you focus on the BRIGHTSIDE.