After nearly four years of radio silence, The Lumineers are finally back with their new single “Ophelia.” “Ophelia” is a small taste of what is to come from their new album Cleopatra which is set to be released in April of this year. The song has the same Lumineers-folksy sound with a soulful piano tune and slow, building stomps in the background that I have grown to love.
I have listened to their first album, The Lumineers, in its entirety in my car over a hundred times. Without skipping through the songs and really trying to fixate on the lyrics, I have come to believe there is a story within the album. This is going to seem like a string of overthinking with undertones of an insane person’s conspiracy theory, but trust me on this one.
In the first song, the story begins with a man meeting a very pretty and “Classy Girl.” Next is “Dead Sea,” which describes the wedding of the two new lovers and their vows to each other. The following songs, “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love” describe the positive state of their relationship within the lyrics and upbeat tones. The final energetic song of the album, “Big Parade,” shows the strain on the unnamed couple’s relationship, opening with the line, “Lovely girl, won’t you stay, stay with me.” Next, “Flapper Girl” describes a woman trying to get her husband to notice her new hair, and her husband trying anything to keep her happy, including buying her a new Cadillac. The final song takes a sudden dark and sad turn.
“Morning Song” represents the final chapter to the hidden story and the demise of the fictional couple’s relationship. The husband asks his wife, “If it was easier to pack her bags and book that flight to Paris,” showing how she left him. The husband then brings up how she cheated on him, asking “And did you think of me when you made love to him? Was it the same as us or was it different; it must have been.”
The love between the two has finally ended and the relationship is beyond repair. Lead singer Wesley Schultz finishes the story in a desperate and wavering voice, “When my hands begin to shake, when bitterness is all I taste, and my car won’t stop cause I cut the brakes, I hold on to a hope in my fate.”
The final words before his suicide are his selfless thoughts, showing his unwavering and stubborn love for his wife. Finishing with “may you return to love one day,” he expresses his hope that she can love again after his own death.
The lyrics and possible underlying story are poetic and show the effort The Lumineers pour into all of their lyrics. When asked about the new album, lead singer Wesley Schultz stated, “The [new] record is our greatest hits reflecting what’s happened to us over the last three years. We tried to come up with the best possible version of every song.”
I have been impatiently waiting for the new album for these past four years and I have complete faith that they will return just as strong, if not stronger, than before.