Folk-rock band, The Lumineers, has recently released a new album called “III” that tells the story of the fictional Spark family. Listeners get to learn about the three generations of this family that deal with a history of addiction. By having a popular band like The Lumineers break the stigma of addiction through their songs, more bands can feel inspired to do the same thing.

The Inspiration Behind the New Album

Lead vocalist and guitarist, Wesley Schultz, and his wife both knew someone who suffered from addiction for ten years and was in and out of rehab. Lumineers co-founder Jeremiah Fraites lost his brother to a heroin overdose. Initially, Schultz felt like they were going through these experiences alone as individuals. It was not until later that Schultz realized that addiction has touched the lives of a lot of people.

How Addiction is Portrayed in Songs

Schultz wanted to make it a goal to be honest in his lyrics. He would rather some of the lyrics sound harsh than to sugarcoat it like in the lyrics “There are easier ways to die” in the song “Gloria.” Even if the lyrics sound cold or harsh, there is a mix of emotions you experience when you surround yourself with someone struggling with addiction like confusion, anger, resentment, and love. 

The Three Generations in III

The first generation is “Donna” who is the mother of the main character, Gloria Sparks. Donna is battling alcoholism and mental illness. Her daughter ends up inheriting her mother’s alcoholism and mental illness who serves as the second generation. In the song “Gloria,” Schultz thinks about how her children must see her and how she sees herself. The song is like a conversation between someone struggling with addiction and her daughter. 

Later on in the album, we are introduced to the third generation in Gloria’s son, Jimmy Sparks who becomes an alcoholic. In the song “Jimmy Sparks,” he teaches his son never to pick up a hitchhiker only for Jimmy to become a hitchhiker himself that his son drives past. Compared to their usual upbeat songs, it may seem like a risk to play such heavy songs at a concert. In reality, The Lumineers “III” can end up touching the lives of the audience. The Lumineers can help audiences picture people in their lives who were harmed by addiction and help those without experience better understand this genetic disease.

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.


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