The Lumineers appears to have uncovered the secrets of simplicity and, like dental veneers, the Denver folk duo's eponymous EP shines bright. The opener, "Flowers in Your Hair," emerges from thin air with nice acoustic guitar picking and soft, scratchy vocals that seem to have been recorded with a mic hanging distantly from the ceiling. A minute in and the room's reverberation becomes as much a player as any musician. Drum and tambourine drive the song to an abrupt ending at 1:45. Like any kid, I want more sweet, sweet candy; fortunately, there is plenty.
"Classy Girls" makes me nervous at first listen. The mandolin riff is reminiscent of those movies where Boomers get a list of stuff to do, like skydiving. Not to worry. When the chorus hits with the line, "Classy girls don't kiss in bars, it's true," I am sold. And, more importantly, I learned something about girls—finally. (John Mayer, I've learned nothing from you.)
A myriad of sonic dimensions, four-on-the-floor drumming and a vocal strain that reminds one of Thom Yorke mark the morose epic, "Scotland," the EP's most complex and rewarding jam. For those who crave forlorn sounds to match the darkness of winter, this is it.
The Lumineers plays the Top Hat Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 9 PM with Kory Quinn. Cover TBA.