The Lumineers stopped by NPR’s offices on Monday (April 6) for a lively Tiny Desk Concert highlighting their 2019 album III.
The folk-rock six-piece kicked things off with “Gloria,” the lead single from the LP which peaked at No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart, before transitioning into album cut “Leader of the Landslide,” complete with a cassette recording of crickets and rain for atmosphere.
Introducing the second song, lead singer Wesley Schultz opened up during the set about how a family member’s issues with addiction fueled much of the album’s lyrical content. “My wife and I have tried to take care of this person for about 10 years; she’s an alcoholic and she’s struggled mightily with that ever since I’ve known her,” he said.
“It’s been humbling to say the least, and a hard journey, but we shared this on this record through a lot of different songs…and I think we’ve realized there’s a lot of different people who are going through the exact same thing or something just like it, we just don’t talk about it. So it’s been connective even though I thought it would be a little bit of an alienating thing to share with the world. It’s brought a lot of people, for us, together, so I’m thankful for that.”
Following an instrumental interlude of “April,” the band also performed “Salt and Sea,” (which Schultz revealed was originally written as a commission for the end credits of an unnamed M. Night Shyamalan film) and closed out the set with an office sing-along to their foot-stomping 2012 single “Stubborn Love,” in which pianist Stelth Ulvang actually hopped around on Bob Boilen’s famed Tiny Desk with bare feet.
Check out The Lumineers’ full Tiny Desk Concert below.