Sunday, January 17, 2010

2009: The Round Up

#7. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
(Gentlemen of the road/Coop, 2009)


These folkrockers formed a band for just two years ago in London. They have sprung out of the same folkscene as Noah & the Whale, Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling. The band started out as Laura Marling's backingband both live and in studio. Sigh No More is a pretty impressive debut. Rooted in more the american folk tradition than the british, at least to my ears it sounds that way. You can clearly hear the bluegrass influences on the album, but still I would say that the band are more a folkrock band than a country band.

Sigh No More was released in October and a February release is been set for the United States. I think I first heard this album in late November and wasn't that impressed at first, but this really is a grower. Soon you'll find yourself humming the stunning melodies. Maybe you'll be singing a long to the lyrics as well, good as they are.

"As the winter winds litter London with
lonely hearts
The warmth in your eyes swept me into
your arms
Was it love or fear of the cold that led us
through the night?
For every kiss your beauty trumped my
doubt.."

As you can see, the lyrics mostly focuses around matters of the heart, but isn't that sort of the point with what we call popular music and pop-culture. In this song, "Winter Winds" the heart has the last word.

"And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no, this time no"

The only real negative thing I could say about this album is that the songs maybe are a little to similiar to each other. You have a slow build up and a big crescendo towards the end. Compared to The Avett Brothers, another band in the same genre and kinda similiar in sound, Mumford & Sons perhaps have a little way to go in terms of writing more diverse songs. That said, you really shouldn't worry about that - because the songs Mumford & Sons do write are very good. The very best and my favourite being "Dust Bowl Dance".

Mumford & Sons - "Thistle & Weeds" and "Dust Bowl Dance"
live at Rough Trade East, London - 2008.


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