Three years after the story of Cleopatra (album), the Lumineers personify addiction through the eyes of Gloria Sparks, a mother that makes regrettable mistakes fueled by her addiction to alcohol and substances. Wesley Schultz, songwriter and co-founder of the Lumineers, therapeutically explores his family demons correlating Gloria’s life with familiar experiences. Their new trilogy LP is accompanied by three stirring music videos that capture the essence of what addiction can do to a family.
From Cleopatra to Gloria Sparks
In 2016, Lumineers created a five-part music video that focused on the life of Cleopatra, a woman living in regret looking back at her past “what if” moments. After releasing their new international tour dates, the Lumineers released a short LP called Gloria Sparks that contains three songs revolving around a new character, that struggles with her addiction and the consequences it brings her. Similar to Cleopatra, the album will contain ten songs with three bonus tracks and will be joined with a ten-part series of music videos. The band released the first three videos that connect with the Gloria Sparks LP that leaving you captivated to what Gloria is going to do next: “Donna”, “Life In The City”, and “Gloria”.
When the Lumineers launched their career with their self-titled album, Wesley Schultz, wanted to dive into deep issues that revolved around his life in a future album – specifically the role of addiction on his beloved family member. However, the challenge of transitioning from the upbeat and popular track “Ho Hey” to his vision of “Gloria” would need a more strategic approach, thus their chart-topping album Cleopatra was born. Wesley Schultz is known to sit down with strangers and listen to their life stories, giving him the inspiration to write his music. After Cleopatra’s success, the band received stories from fans and strangers, some specifically on addiction. When Schultz heard these stories, it hit home, and he knew it was time to introduce Gloria Sparks to their discography.
The Story of Gloria Sparks
Gloria, a fictional character struggling with her addiction, personifies Schultz’ familial demons and how it impacts more than just one person. The music videos show how Gloria’s addiction impacts the family through a series of accidents like her dropping her newborn, past affairs, smashing a bottle on her loved one, getting into a car wreck, and much more. The videos also show how her husband’s love and pain are expressed on his face when his wife falls back into alcoholism – the essence Schultz wanted to capture in the video. Schultz admits that when he was first on the journey with his loved one’s addiction, he thought that it was a matter of willpower, but quickly learned that the disease is much more than that. He says “it does feel like there’s this force beyond you and beyond the person, you care about that is at work and at play, and no matter what you do, it seems like the disease is going to do what it wants to do and takes over this person you really care about. You’re with them through the ups and downs.” Schultz worked with director Kevin Philips to create multiple music videos that visually stun the viewers with the cringing reality of how addiction impacts your life. The music videos for the three songs were released in late May and tease that they are just three of the ten-part series. The director captures bone-chilling moments including a car crash, a hospital scene, and an escape from the police in “Gloria.” “Life in the City” showcases Gloria in the bar using cocaine, taking a few shots and struggling with her internal demons as she gets flirty with a stranger in the bar. After giving in to her temptation, she has an affair that leads to a secret that must be internalized. In the last video, “Donna,” you can see the tear in Gloria’s soul, as she has a cathartic surrender stumbling down the stairs and running to the front lawn falling to her knees. The three videos capture the internal battle that the disease plays in the character of an addict