March 15, 2009

The honest and compelling music of Mumford & Sons


Mumford & Sons sounds like a dignified British jeweler, or perhaps a men’s clothing store, but instead they are a potent and wonderful quartet out of London that is poised to shoot to the top (and well-deservedly so).

The first time I listened to their music they reminded me of a blend of two bands I wholeheartedly love — a vibe of Frightened Rabbit meets the Avett Brothers? I hear both the wrenching confessional storytelling in a thick brogue, and the almost-punk ferocity of the bluegrass glimmers. Absolutely fantastic.

A local friend who knows my musical leanings fairly well sent me this recommendation that several readers have also written in passionately to me about, primarily folks from the UK. Mumford & Sons make honest, compelling music that veers towards triumphant even as they chronicle the difficult litany of life’s woes. It sounds epic and substantial while simultaneously crawling under my skin with its vulnerability.

Perhaps it’s the multiple voices rising together of all the band members, but there is a distinct feeling of kinfolk here, almost like a gospel choir or a Greek chorus, a community vibe that lends some sort of strength through such raw lyrical content. Add some banjo and….I’m totally sold.

I have been listening to this live set pretty much nonstop this weekend.

The Cave
(ack. love this!!)
Roll Away Your Stone
Sigh No More
(otherwise unreleased?)
White Blank Page

You can bet your last sip of Tito’s that I’ll be seeing these guys in Austin this week. Hurrah! I cannot wait.

[audio thanks]


  • I saw them with Laura Marling last fall – both as her band as on their own – and they were terrific. Definitely try to catch them.

    frank — March 15, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

  • love these guys

    scott b. — March 16, 2009 @ 12:17 am

  • I love the British Folksy sound. It lacks the misery that a lot of folk music seems to have.

    Pearl — March 16, 2009 @ 5:34 am

  • Mumford & Son’s…

    Mumford & Son’s is a London based blue grass folk quartet, that seem to have a really bright future.
    There is something very optimistic (or maybe it just sounds that way, because of the up beat Irish sounds) about their music and while you…

    Recording Channel — March 16, 2009 @ 5:35 am

  • Love that you posted about these boys…I saw them with Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn back in September and have been absolutely HOOKED ever since.

    Definitely see them as many times as possible at SXSW…it’s fully worth it. I’m planning to make a two hour trip into NYC tonight to see them play for what I expect to be 45 minutes because, like I said…WORTH IT :)

    Lauren — March 16, 2009 @ 6:10 am

  • Fantastic. ‘Hold On To What You Believe’ on their MySpace is my favourite so far, and really fits in with the Frightened Rabbits comparison.

    Jamie — March 16, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  • I absolutely love them! Thanks!

    GarrethD — March 25, 2009 @ 12:33 am

  • Thank you for posting these live tracks from Mumford & Sons! I just can’t get enough of them!

    Marilyn — March 25, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  • If you love Mumford and sons then you will love this LTD Edition EP with Art prints signed by the band!!

    Check it out


    raphael Edwards — April 9, 2009 @ 4:32 am

  • Amasing. Love these guys

    Larry — June 9, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  • I absolutely love mumford and sons…your description of them as being a combination of frightened rabbit and avett brothers is spot on! I cant wait for them to come to the US for another tour, they’re the only band i would travel a long distance to hear live :]

    Bailey — August 4, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  • Thanks for putting this up. I saw them on Sunday night and can’t recommend them heartily enough. Live they’re a force of nature that infects every last fibre of your body. Resulting in you smiling, crying, loving, dancing and any number of other emotional responses – all in the space of each three minutes or so of music. Its quite unnerving how they take complete control of you and your reactions as they perform and just will not let go. Off to see them again week after next, cant wait.

    Coincedentally I’m off to see Frightened Rabbit soon too. Good times!!!

    Jamie — September 17, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  • Thanks!
    Sigh no more is quite a song !!! :)

    Dirty Henry — October 19, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Runamokk: Mumford and Sons live on Radio one – My new favourite band…

    uberVU - social comments — October 30, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

  • [...] out show at Stubb’s. I’d been listening to them since early 2009 thanks to Heather at Fuel/Friends so I was pretty excited for the show. Typically I will do a little research on the openers, but for [...]

    New Leaves In March · morning commute song – 1.6.2011 — January 6, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  • Without a doubt the most talented couple of boys out there in the Americana/folk world currently. The soul and pain they put forth in their songs makes it so you can view the actual ghosts Marcus sings about circling him, taunting him. The painful wails toward the end imply the realization, the turning point, where you become so wholly and totally miserable yet accepting it and appreciating your misery. That is what I personally like about Mumford and Sons. Their songs aren’t attempting to make you leave your depression or dark, manic places, however they allow you to stay there and let you come to feel everything that that plagues you and churns your stomach and keeps you up through the night without being ashamed of it. Very Wordsworthian and very powerful.

    Sherlyn Rushe — February 15, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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