"We don't know how many good albums we have left in us," confessed Lumineers lead singer and songwriter Wesley Schultz to Westword earlier this summer.
So when the Denver-based folk-rock band set out to make its third album, members decided to put everything into the project; they even financed filmmaker Kevin Phillips to direct a series of music videos tied to each song, which he eventually strung together for a short film.
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The album, III, all about addiction and how it's passed down through the generations of a family, is well suited for a visual element. Schultz and drummer Jeremiah Fraites came up with the story of how alcoholism and drug addiction tortured a family. The videos, which were shot in Portland, star Anna Cordell in a stunning debut performance, Nick Stahl of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and In the Bedroom, and Charlie Tahan of Ozark and Super Dark Times.
While each short film is being dropped individually leading up to the full release of III on September 13, the film tying them together is debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Schultz, Fraites and Phillips will be at the premiere to answer questions about the film after it screens.
"This short film is about a member of my family whose battle with addiction has led her to rehab, jail, and ultimately homelessness now, for over a year," Schultz explains in a statement. "We were attempting to make a short film with the album serving as our narrator. I never dreamed it would be premiered at one of the top international film festivals in the world."