Indie-folk darlings Mumford & Sons have a new sound.
As I type this through my tears (Nervous? Excited? You decide!), I recognize that bands can and should grow in their sound, and that I can’t expect the sons Mumford to be the same banjo-heavy, alt-americana of my high school years. When I heard the news about their new single (“Believe”) from their new album (“Wilder Mind”) featuring their new smoother, light-electric alternative sound, I was actually really into it, and am eagerly anticipating the rest of the tracks to see how their talent manifests and serves to expand our musical horizons.
The single in question, “Believe”, really showcases their new sound, but still includes the complex musicality, harmonies, and deep lyrics that we’ve come to expect from the band. Sure we’ve exchanged the banjo and stand-up bass for drum tracks and synths, but that’s what is great about music and human ability in general: it’s adaptable and moldable and completely without limits.
Now, after I heard the news and paused for some self-reflection, I did some calculations and realize that their first album, “Sigh No More”, came out six years ago. That sound you hear is the rushing realization of my own finite mortality. Regardless of my existential crisis over the rapid passage of time, I’m actually really excited for Mumford & Sons’ third studio album. Babel, their sophomore album, came out three years ago, and it seems that Marcus Mumford, Winston Marshal, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwayne have spent that time to grow in artistry and take some risks, and honestly, good for them. If we, as fans, insisted that bands continue to write, sing, and perform the same music for decades, then we are doing them an enormous disservice, because that would get really boring, really fast. All of this to say, “Believe” is a good track, “Wilder Dreams” looks like a good album, and I’m excited to see where this new direction is going to take Mumford & Sons.