The folk rock band The Lumineers was established in Ramsey, New Jersey in 2005 by Jeremiah Fraites (percussionist, drummer) and Wesley Schultz (guitarist, lead vocalist). Fraites and Schultz started writing and collaborating with each other and began to perform gigs in the New York city area. Jay Van Dyke joined them and provided back-up vocals and percussion in 2008 and 2009. The pair then relocated to Denver, Colorado where the group is now based. Neyla Pekarek (vocalist, cellist) joined the group in 2010. In 2012, Ben Wahamaki (bassist) and Stelth Ulvang (pianist) became full-time band members.
The Lumineers independently released a self-titled EP in 2011, and in the spring of that year the band was signed to a deal by David Meinert and Christen Greene of Onto Entertainment after they saw the group’s video of their song “Ho Hey” on Youtube. The song appeared on Hart of Dixie, the CW Network show, on the season finale. The single started to receive significant buzz in social media and also started to receive radio airplay. In early 2012, The Lumineers signed with Dualtone Records, an independent label.
In April 2012, the band released its debut self-titled album via Dualtone Records. It peaked in the No. 11 spot on Billboard’s 200 chart. In Ireland, the set reached platinum status and in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. was certified gold. The album spawned the singles “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love.” “Ho Hey” debuted in the No. 90 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and peaked in the No. 3 spot. “Stubborn Love,” the second single off the album, peaked in the No. 70 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The Lumineers released Winter, their second EP, in November 2012 via Dualtone Records. In December 2012, the Lumineers received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Americana Album and Best New Artist.