Despite the industry’s current fascination with over the top electronic arrangements and dubstep beats, folk music has managed to stay alive and well. One of the genre’s fastest rising starts is three piece Denver-based band The Lumineers. With their breakout single Ho Hey! they’ve managed to score a summer hit, and develop a strong fan base.
Ho Hey! features a gentile acoustic arrangement. With a gentle strum of a guitar, a foot stomping beat, tender mandolin and tambourine melody, the song definitely has a timeless sound. The music itself is pleasant, if a bit sleepy. However, the rousing calls of “Ho! Hey!” sprinkled through out the song turn it into a lively number, making it great fun to sing along to.
Despite the light arrangement and catchy hook, the song actually takes a somber direction. The lyrics are actually quite emotional, as lead singer Wesley Schultz tells us of the loneliness and confusion he experiences after his lover has left him. His drawling vocals weave the story together through lines like “I don’t know where I went wrong, but I can write a song.”
Unfortunately, the song is a steady build toward a climax that feels a bit weak. The song never quite reaches the heights of bands like Mumford and Sons, The Decemberists, or the Civil Wars. Despite being memorable and having a rousing hook, the song never becomes more than just a pleasant listen.
Final Score: 3/5