14 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

On 2015’s Wilder Mind Mumford & Sons went electric, ditching the banjos and acoustic guitars for a more plugged-in sound. Those instruments return on their fourth album, but a whole lot more has been added to the palette. Delta is their boldest collection to date, marrying their intimate introspection and massive hooks with restless musical curiosity. “I remember when we first played Wilder Mind to our booking agent in the States,” Marcus Mumford told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. “His first comment was, ‘Now you guys can do whatever you want. You’re not the banjo band anymore.’ It was probably a bit reactionary from us: ‘Let’s do it without these acoustic instruments in our hands.’ And I guess, on this record, it felt like, ‘Look, let’s just not restrict ourselves at all. Let’s use whatever powers we have, whatever kind of instrumentation we have, and let’s try and do the best we can with it.’”

Key to reaching new peaks, they decided, was trying to encompass each member’s diverse musical tastes into their songs. So while the quartet’s nu-folk roots are still traceable in the harmonies and troubled soul of opener “42” and the insistent banjo riff on “Beloved,” there are also successful journeys into electronic pop and hip-hop beats (“Woman,” “Rose of Sharon”), alt-R&B (“Picture You”), and foreboding psych-rock (“Darkness Visible”). The centerpiece of their experimentation is “If I Say,” which swells from spartan beginnings to orchestral grandeur and fiery rock crescendo. “We like to explore the idea of epic,” keyboardist Ben Lovett, who wrote the track, told Lowe. “I was actually asleep in an apartment in New York and I dreamt this song. And then I went into my bathroom and recorded it on my voicemail at 3 a.m.. I sent it to everyone the next morning, and they were like, ‘Yeah, OK, that’s a song.’ Sometimes we do send stuff to each other and it’s just like crickets, y’know?”

The aching “Wild Heart” recognizes that there can still be great beauty in simplicity, but Delta is Mumford & Sons at their most free-spirited. “I think we feel younger,” said Lovett. “I feel like this is us just getting into it. We spent the whole of this year [2018] just pouring ideas, and it was just such a fertile period. It’s partly why the album is called Delta—the most fertile ground of a river. I think that there will come a time for those quieter, more reflective moments; it’s just not what we’re about right now. We wanna push it on.”

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On 2015’s Wilder Mind Mumford & Sons went electric, ditching the banjos and acoustic guitars for a more plugged-in sound. Those instruments return on their fourth album, but a whole lot more has been added to the palette. Delta is their boldest collection to date, marrying their intimate introspection and massive hooks with restless musical curiosity. “I remember when we first played Wilder Mind to our booking agent in the States,” Marcus Mumford told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. “His first comment was, ‘Now you guys can do whatever you want. You’re not the banjo band anymore.’ It was probably a bit reactionary from us: ‘Let’s do it without these acoustic instruments in our hands.’ And I guess, on this record, it felt like, ‘Look, let’s just not restrict ourselves at all. Let’s use whatever powers we have, whatever kind of instrumentation we have, and let’s try and do the best we can with it.’”

Key to reaching new peaks, they decided, was trying to encompass each member’s diverse musical tastes into their songs. So while the quartet’s nu-folk roots are still traceable in the harmonies and troubled soul of opener “42” and the insistent banjo riff on “Beloved,” there are also successful journeys into electronic pop and hip-hop beats (“Woman,” “Rose of Sharon”), alt-R&B (“Picture You”), and foreboding psych-rock (“Darkness Visible”). The centerpiece of their experimentation is “If I Say,” which swells from spartan beginnings to orchestral grandeur and fiery rock crescendo. “We like to explore the idea of epic,” keyboardist Ben Lovett, who wrote the track, told Lowe. “I was actually asleep in an apartment in New York and I dreamt this song. And then I went into my bathroom and recorded it on my voicemail at 3 a.m.. I sent it to everyone the next morning, and they were like, ‘Yeah, OK, that’s a song.’ Sometimes we do send stuff to each other and it’s just like crickets, y’know?”

The aching “Wild Heart” recognizes that there can still be great beauty in simplicity, but Delta is Mumford & Sons at their most free-spirited. “I think we feel younger,” said Lovett. “I feel like this is us just getting into it. We spent the whole of this year [2018] just pouring ideas, and it was just such a fertile period. It’s partly why the album is called Delta—the most fertile ground of a river. I think that there will come a time for those quieter, more reflective moments; it’s just not what we’re about right now. We wanna push it on.”

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
513 Ratings
513 Ratings
SundancerLM ,

I miss old Mumford

These sound like a lot of other, run of the mill, bands. You had a unique, beautiful, heart stopping, powerful sound before and I want it back. I LOVED everything, and every song on your first two albums. That sound, that’s what made you awesome. Don’t become like everyone else...

SamsterFX45 ,

Bummer

It’s sad they had to change their style..their old style was amazing. “Ghosts We Knew,” “Babel,” “Timshel,” all those were beautiful. It’s such a bummer that they’re trying to go pop electric. It doesn’t fit them. :(

Vinnymac ,

Come on!

Slow, generic sounding music.

About Mumford & Sons

One of the most successful acts to come out of the first decade of the 21st century's English folk revival, London's Mumford & Sons' agreeable fusion of bluegrass, folk, country, and rock found favor with audiences both at home and abroad. Formed in 2007 by singer/guitarist/drummer Marcus Mumford, vocalist and banjo/Dobro player Winston Marshall, vocalist/keyboardist Ben Lovett, and vocalist/bassist Ted Dwane, the quartet bonded over their shared love of roots music -- their moniker is meant to invoke the impression of an antiquated family business name. At that time the West London folk scene was becoming increasingly vibrant with the arrival of fellow new traditionalists like Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, and Johnny Flynn. In 2008 the band played their first Glastonbury Festival and released their debut EP, Love Your Ground. A 2009 follow-up EP, Cave and the Open Sea, caught the attention Island Records, and more importantly, Arcade Fire producer Markus Dravs, who would go on to helm the band's debut long-player, the Mercury Prize-shortlisted Sigh No More. It was issued a year later in America and Canada on the Glassnote Records label and sold over a million copies between the two countries, earning Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Song. They performed at the ceremony as well, delivering a spirited version of "The Cave" and then backed Bob Dylan on a generation-spanning rendition of "Maggie's Farm."

Their 2012 Dravs-produced sophomore outing, Babel, debuted at number one on the U.K. Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200, and eventually took home that year's Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Recorded live over two nights at Colorado's legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the band's first live film/recording, Road to Red Rocks, followed in late 2012, but after wrapping up their massive international tour in support of Babel, the group members declared that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus. In early 2015, the band announced both a return to the stage and plans to release a new album. The resulting James Ford-produced Wilder Mind, the group's third studio long-player and most stylistically diverse outing to date, arrived in early May of that year, and charted at number one in seven countries. The following year, during their South African tour, they recorded an EP in collaboration with Baaba Maal, the Very Best, and Beatenberg. The resulting Johannesburg, named after the city where it was recorded, featured their Record Store Day 2016 single "There Will Be Time" and saw release in June. ~ James Christopher Monger

ORIGIN
London, England
FORMED
2007

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