Thursday, February 25, 2010

#22 London, England presents, Mumford & Sons

Mumford and Sons are one of the groups at the forefront of England's folk rock revival scene and they are putting together some really awesome stuff over there. Rising out of the new folk scene, their live shows really started gathering them a solid fan base that led to the band being signed to a deal with Island Records. They have really started gaining a lot of momentum in Canada after their debut album, 'Sigh No More', was released here earlier this month but it has been out in the UK since October of last year. The band consists of Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Country Winston (vocals, banjo, dobro), Ted Dwane (vocals, stand up bass) and Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, organ).

This band is really true to the essence of the folk rock revival that is going on right now. Their love of country, bluegrass and folk is audible throughout their material as well as the confidence and talent to expand the sound and create something really unique. I love how the instruments compliment each other in their music. The heavy use of banjo and stand up bass give the music that old folk feel and then a loud guitar chimes in reminding you this is also a rock band. Marcus's vocals remind me of early Dave Matthews and to be honest its the kind of music I wish that Dave Matthews was still making. The melody moves up and down from quiet to loud in waves that make you want to get up and move with it almost as if the harmonies and instrumentation are laying you down in a musical trance. The music is fairly on par with what we have been hearing from the Folk Rock Revivalists of late in bands such as the Fleet Foxes, and Monsters of Folk but what really sets them apart is the energy the songs have contained within them.

Mumford and Sons carry with them the sort of energy you would expect from more of an Alt-rock band. They take that energy and bring it to the folk rock that they clearly love and really make this album stand out from the others. As they have progressed, the songs got brighter, bolder and began showing an increasing focus on their passionate and often quite intimate lyrics. The band stated in an interview that "What we write about is real, and we sing and play our instruments more passionately cos we feel like we need to. We love honest music."
One listen is all it takes to understand that they mean it when they say that. I think that is one of the things I really like about this band. The music is has an honest feel to it and comes off as mellow and low key. That truth translates to the listeners of this new wave of folk rock because it is the opposite of what a lot of music has become these days. Some of the lyrics try a little hard to be pure folk when it is obvious that the band are a bunch of city boys from London but the songs about life and heartbreak and love are as true in the city as they are in the country and that is an area where they are excelling. They’re not at their strongest when echoing the reverb-filled harmonies of Fleet Foxes, but when they drop their restraint and go for their talented instrumentation, they achieve a harmonious balance of old school folk and upbeat bluegrass. When you have a wicked banjo player, you should use him.

The Facts:

- The band actually started out as a backing band for UK artist Laura Marling (Marcus's Girlfriend) in 2007.
-Marcus was actually born in America although he was raised in England.
-They will be touring North America this summer so stay tuned.

Enjoy this awesome video of them. This is their first single 'Little lion man'

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