A music genre that has typical been associated with hippies and hillbillies has now gone commercial. When asked why folk music has come back into fashion, Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, drums, and mandolin), simply replied “We genuinely have no idea…but its nice that people like it.” It would seem that much like their music, the band members are relatable, down to earth and uncommonly level-headed.
Mumford and sons have kept us all in awe since their debut album ‘Sigh no more’ was released in 2009. Since then things have definitely been looking up for the English Folk band, who have recently released their second album ‘Babel’.
Babel sold an astounding 600 000 copies within it debut sales week, making it the top selling album in a debut sales week for the entire year! (Justin Bieber’s album came in second with almost 200 000 LESS sales than Mumford and sons.) Whats even more staggering is the 8 million streams it received on Spotify in the same week.
How is it that a single folk- rock group has been able to achieve these levels of success when so many before them have failed? It quite simple really… they are loyal to their fans. Mumford and sons took inspiration from the Avett Brothers and makes it a priority not only to tour North America, but to tour ALL of it. They are known for performing in small towns such as Bloomington, you probably have no idea where that it, but that’s exactly the point! It would seem that instead of their fans following them, they follow their fans.
Not only have the musical stylings of the band inspired their fans, but many other bands aswell. The success of Mumford and Sons has encouraged artist to whip out the banjo and the mandolin and strip their music down. Although their music is mainly acoustic, the band does admit that they like to sneak a little bit of electric guitar in once in a while.
However it is not so much the musical composition of the songs that resonate with the audience, but the lyrics. Marcus Mumford writes most of the bands songs and often uses intertextuality, often making reference to the bible (due to his religious background) and even from Shakespeare’s play “Much Ado about Nothing”. The lyrics are deep, soulful and full of meanings open for interpretation.
Regardless of weather you like their music or not, one cannot deny that Mumford and Sons has been revolutionary in changing the commercial music industry from common pop and rock to foot tapping, soul inspiring and ever so motivational music which can resonate with audiences of all ages. I have no doubt that we are yet to see the best of these young gentlemen yet