Decca Records is Ready to Drop 2 Killer New Records from The Lumineers and The Longest Johns
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posted 05 Jan 2022 by Krister Axel
There may be a lot of crazy things going on in the world today but it comes as welcome relief to take a few minutes to enjoy these great songs.

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Decca Records is starting the year with two amazing new albums from roots messiahs The Lumineers and nautical folk alchemists The Longest Johns. There may be a lot of crazy things going on in the world today but it comes as welcome relief to take a few minutes to enjoy these great songs. Decca Records is a British record label with a long track record of supporting great music and innovative recording techniques—from Bing Crosby to John Cage and Patsy Cline, and so many others, Decca has had a firm hand in nurturing the evolution of pop music from its classical roots to the dizzying array of quality choices that we enjoy today.

When you make a list of top songwriting talents in the space between roots, Americana, and folk, there is just no way to do that without mentioning The Lumineers. They check all the boxes for lovers of the genre: an expressive and unique vocal signature, deeply authentic and emotional lyrics, and an infectious joie de vivre that shines through even the moodiest of songs. The Lumineers continue to expand an artistic catalog that includes some of the most beloved tracks in all of folk pop: both "Ophelia" and "Ho Hey" are quickly approaching 1 billion streams each on Spotify alone. These songs have come to express both the hope and regret of an entire generation.

The Lumineers - BRIGHTSIDE

Lumineers’ co-founders & co-songwriters Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites match melodies on the acoustic piano with roots elements that include banjo, mandolin, and the ever-present acoustic guitar. Their new release "BRIGHTSIDE" was produced by longtime collaborator Simone Felice and produced, mixed, and engineered by David Baron over two sessions in winter and spring 2021 at Baron’s Sun Mountain Studios in bucolic Boiceville, NY.

"BRIGHTSIDE," the first and title track to this long-awaited follow-up to 2019's III, starts with an overdriven guitar and tumbling drum pattern, and leads quickly to the characteristic elements of Lumineers music: hummable melody, an uplifting, cathartic chorus, and lyrics that tell a story that seems to come directly from our own life. For the band’s most joyous and spontaneous piece of work thus far Schultz and Fraites played virtually all of the instruments, with Baron on a wide variety of keyboards & backing vocals. Simone, Wes, Jeremiah and David are joined by touring members Byron Isaacs and Lauren Jacobson, famed backing singer Cindy Mizelle, James Felice, and acclaimed singer-songwriter Diana DeMuth.

As is common for a full-length release from The Lumineers, the songs from "BRIGHTSIDE" all fit together in a sort of tapestry of human frailty and resilience—at turns romantic, sanguine, and wistful. This eclectic and effervescent nine-song collection is a rare modern example of a cohesive artistic document; one that speaks for itself with the twin musical vocabularies of folk and rock, assembled with the tonal framework of roots music and an underlying songcraft that is both passionate and virtuosic.

You were tired of Tacoma
I was tired of believing we were right
Losing every other friend
Finding nothing in the afterlife
But the light in your eyes
Alone on a feeling

THE LONGEST JOHNS - SMOKE & OAKUM

The Longest Johns are at the forefront of the recent transatlantic resurgence of sea shanties, being the instigators of the TikTok phenomenon and chart hit "Wellerman." With a pedigree that stretches as far back as 2013's "Bones in the Ocean," they have put in the time and work to emerge now as a founding presence in the hot international market for sea shanties and deep folk revivalism. Their songs often feature a simple combination of a cappella four-part harmony and the occasional foot stomp and hand clap. This Bristol-based foursome has gone from singing together in a kitchen to international folk festivals, tours, TV appearances, and much more.

Featuring legendary folk songs from the band's list of personal favorites alongside original offerings, "Smoke & Oakum" pays homage to protest singers and folk luminaries through the years. By adding new layers of instrumentation that include banjo, acoustic guitar, fiddle, and acoustic drums, "Smoke & Oakum" delivers a sonic experience that is their fullest yet. With a thrilling treatment of "Hard Times Come Again No More" as their opening singlepreviously recorded by heavy weights such as Mavis Staples, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan—The Longest Johns make this American treasure as poignant now as when it was first published 167 years ago. Spanning a generous list of 14 songs, "Smoke & Oakum" stands out as an unflinching representation of the common man, sharing in the creative delights, camaraderie, and backbreaking workload of the quintessential nine-to-fiver with an original spark that brings new life to a musical style as old as pirates and gold doubloons.

Preorder Smoke & Oakum from The Longest Johns here.

Visit The Lumineers online and on Instagram.

Read this story on Apple News.

About the Author

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Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.


Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist