12.02.2008

UK Folk Revival: Mumford & Sons



Of late, there seems to be something of a folk revival taking place in the UK. And when I say folk, I'm not referring to the "freak folk" that has so captivated the indie-loving masses and the blogosphere in The States for the last few years, but that I don't personally care for. Instead, the artists that comprise this scene (including Noah & the Whale, Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, Emmy The Great, Mumford & Sons, and Jay Jay Pistolet, to name some of the key players) are taking their cues from a more earnest traditional kind of folk, peppered with occasional indie-pop accents. A welcome development if you ask me.

While the buzz has started to build for this scene in Britain, it has not really started to catch on here just yet, with the notable exception of the use the Noah & the Whale single, "5 Years Time," in a Saturn Commercial (probably their poppiest song, at that). It is my hope that this will soon change as I've become quite captivated by a number of the associated acts recently.

While not yet the most established, Mumford & Sons is the best the best of them. Led by Marcus Mumford, who has also lended his services to N&TW and Laura Marling (who was nominated for this year's Mercury Prize), these guys have released a pair of solid EPs this year (Lend Me Your Eyes and Love Your Ground). Their sound is highlighted by their confident, spot-on harmonies and the way that nearly all of their songs start rather softly and simply, and then slowly build to powerful climaxes. Their music can variously be linked to folk, bluegrass, and pop and ranges from simple bare-bones folk to grander, more ambitious sounds.

My favorite track they have done so far is "The Banjolin Song." And, lucky for you, I found a charming clip of them performing it on a balcony above a busy street for a Dublin, Ireland TV show (see the top of this post. Also, is it just me or does Mumford, on the left, bare a striking resemblance to the early-60's John Lennon in this video?). As I said, I 've been quite taken by many of these acts, so you can expect to hear more about the UK folk revival at TWLC in the coming weeks and months.

View Mumford & Sons' Myspace Page.
Purchase Mumford & Sons music here.
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1 comment:

  1. I'll be back when there is a Sleeping States album review. I almost forgot it was like my most favorite album

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