Rising folk rock stars Mumford and Sons will be releasing their much-anticipated second album on September 24, 2012. They are currently finishing up a tour in the U.S. Mumford and Sons tickets are on sale for the remaining shows.
The four-piece band has had a meteoric rise to the heights of rock success. The group is slightly less than five years old, but has already reached number two in both the U.S. and the U.K. Their debut album reached the number one slot in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
Mumford and Sons has been categorized as a folk rock band, but that may be too narrow a definition. The group does draw heavily on folk and straight rock traditions, but there are also elements of traditional Celtic, jazz, progressive rock and even a touch of country in their sound. The musicians all play several instruments, so they have the flexibility to tailor the music to each tune without a lot of electronic gimmicks.
Part of the charm of their live performances is that they are just a little bit messy. Tech crew members dart about the stage between every song adjusting amplifiers or hooking the musicians up to a different instrument. There are pauses between numbers. The pauses aren’t long enough to be awkward, but they aren’t filled with a lot of inane chatter, either. The musicians tweak and tune their guitars between and even sometimes during numbers. There is a raw feel to their performances that hearkens back to a different era when everything wasn’t prerecorded or generated by synthesizers.
The wide variety of instruments involved creates a bit of a challenge for the tech crew. Nearly every song involves a different combination of guitars, keyboards, banjo and other instruments. The band also has a variety of amps and pedals onstage, so keeping the right equipment turned on for each song requires some juggling by the crew.
The band combines lovely harmonies with the multitude of instruments to create a unique sound. The lyrics are literate yet catchy. They admit they borrow freely from Shakespeare and other classics for song lyrics, but they work the quotes in so skillfully that they seem modern.
The complex interplay between the instruments and voices is supported by head-bouncing rhythms that are achieved on nearly every song without the use of drums. The lyrics are coupled with melodic hooks that make the songs memorable and easy to sing along with.
In just a few short years, Mumford and Sons has developed an enthusiastic base of devotees. With their singable yet intelligent lyrics and catchy tunes, that’s not surprising. They also put on eminently entertaining concerts, with fans singing along to nearly every song.
As the band develops further and explores all the nuances of their unique blend of many genres, it will be exciting to see just how high they go. Mumford and Sons tickets will be going on sale and presumably going fast to see them play songs from their upcoming album. Hopefully, they won’t lose their lack of slickness and obvious joy in playing live along the way.