By Raphael Dunn |Staff Writer|
Mumford & Sons known for the foot stomping and heavy banjo riffs, have gone in a completely new direction with their third studio album, “Wilder Mind.”
The English Rock band, led by Marcus Mumford, has gained worldwide recognition for the revival of the “Folk-Rock” sound with their previous albums “Sigh No More” and “Babel.”
The band released “Wilder Mind” on May 4, and it is currently No. 1 on the iTunes purchase charts. Before its official release, rumors fluttered about abandonment of the banjo and implementing more electric instruments to their sound.
“None of us had any interest in doing Babel 2. It was always going to be different,” said guitarists Ted Dwane in a recent Rolling Stone interview.
“I don’t really like it. It’s not the band and sound I fell in love with; the Indie-Rock folk sound,” said student Stephanie Ruiz.
Well known producer of Artic Monkeys and Florence + The Machine, James Ford applied his dynamics of orchestral backdrops and fused them with Mumford & Sons’ trademark epic harmony choruses.
The new sounds contain elements from bands like Fleetwood Mac and Radiohead.
The result? An arena rock-filling sound with one-of-a-kind buildups where electric guitars reign king.
“Tompkins Square Park” is the first track of the album, and immediately lays the foundation for the new sound with an electric guitar solo and dubbed to have similarities to a Strokes break-up song.
“The Wolf,” a lead single from the album, was a preview of their new sound that brings back the garage rock sound with electric guitar riffs that has a Bruce Springsteen freedom feel to them.
While the sound may be different the song content remains the same with themes ranging from break-ups and declarations of loyalty.
In other words, “heart on a sleeve” message stays consistent through the tracks.
Most of the inspiration for the lyrics came from the band itself and the personal intimate relationships the band members have experienced.
“Half of the band has gone one way towards this sort of happy marriage, and the other half has gone the opposite direction to a lonely single existence,” said Dwane.
“Only Love” keeps the theme alive with lyrics like “I didn’t fool you but I failed you, in short, made a fool out of you.”
“Believe” reads lyrics, “and I’m climbing over something and I’m running through these walls” amidst guitar flares and drum crescendos.
Mumford has also grown as a musician by shifting from raw and sounds with loud banjos to what is defined as a regular rock band front man with a clearer voice.
One of the most diverse songs on the album that displays Mumford’s shift as a singer is “Cold Arms,” which is just him and a guitar.
The track lies somewhere along the lines between old and new, with Mumford’s smoother voice and the bands recurring themes of love and despair.
“I think that since the album has new sounds, it will be listenable for a wider audience,” said student Rebeca Garcia.
The band is currently rehearsing their new songs for a jam-packed summer tour.
They will be playing at many music festivals across the globe and have a headlining slot at Bonnaroo which is based in Tennessee filled with a generous amount of artist who are the epitome of diversity within the music culture.