Mumford and Sons were bolts from the blue in 2009 when they became worldwide whirlwind successes with their debut album Sigh No More. Nobody, even those with prior knowledge of the band and their sound, could have predicted what would follow after its release.
Suddenly the humble folksters were travelling the world, leaving a trail of strained vocal chords in their wake as they peddled their yellable lyrics and catchy tunes to the world. They’re unashamedly folk and all the better for it.
Overrated to some it’s certainly true that their first album is hardly a spectacular work, but it definitely struck a chord. The like of Little Lion Man, The Cave and Dustbowl Dance are great tunes on any level and success was warranted but as with all popular music it often verged on over-played, sullying their sound for many.
Maybe the three year wait for the band’s follow-up will prove to be perfect timing not just for the band, who’ve allowed enough time for their fame to sink in, but for some of their more worn-out fans.
On the evidence of I Will Wait, the first song from September’s Babel album, it certainly was. This is most definitely Mumford and Sons, banjos and all – a rousing festival tune sadly a little late for the festival run. Maybe next year.
It’s as chaotic a sound as before but certainly cleaner too, a sign of the benefit their time off has had.
“Apocalyptic folk” was the early proclamation of what to expect from Babel and this isn’t that but I Will Wait is a welcome return of a band that were always fun, even if in bursts. Time will tell if the rest of the album provides any more gems but the signs are there.
Welcome back Mumford and Sons.