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Fresh from a series of acclaimed festival appearances throughout the Summer, Mumford & Sons deliver their eagerly anticipated debut album as one of Britain’s most beguiling young acts in years.
Creating a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills & Nash with the might of Kings of Leon, the incredible energy of Mumford & Sons draws us quickly into their circle of songs: to the warmth of their stories and to this magical community of misty-eyed men.
Since the band formed in late 2007, their primary goal has been to make music that matters. Mumford & Sons are Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, bass drum, and tambourine strapped to his left foot and right), Ben Lovett (keyboards), Country Winston (banjo, dobro, electric guitar) and Ted Dwane (bass). By the beginning of this year, the band had already been shortlisted for the BBC Sounds Of 2009 Poll.
Making the road their rolling home is what has made Mumford & Sons who they are today. Word spread quickly, from navigating The Thames on a boat from Camden to Oxford, to selling out London’s ICA, by way of SXSW and an American tour, the following was building fast. The live show has since turned into a real spectacle, and a euphoric event.
With three limited edition, self-produced EPs under their belt, the band will precede the release of ‘Sigh No More’ with the single, ‘Little Lion Man’ – already acknowledged by Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show as ‘The Hottest Record In The World Today’.
This extraordinary debut was produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Bjork, The Maccabees), who actively encouraged the band to be more instinctive, to be more themselves, and strengthen their already-powerful musical personality.
The album begins with the powerful title track, Sigh No More, a statement of intent that references the romantic language of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, as the four men sing together in glorious unison: "Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you / It will set you free / Be more like the man you were made to be." Amongst darkly reflective tracks such as Thistle & Weeds and ballads like White Blank Page, Winter Winds and Roll Away Your Stone, by contrast, show the band's sprightlier side, the rollicking banjo of the former conjuring up stormy weather that "litters London with lonely hearts"; the latter a fabulous hoedown about a man unsuccessfully filling the hole in his soul.
As the album moves on, this fervour never dies. After a wild lashing out in the murderous fable of Dust Bowl Dance, After The Storm arrives, the only track Mumford and Sons wrote in the studio, away from the live stage they knew so well. It stands an incredibly moving final track to an incredibly moving album – the story of a man scared of what's behind and what's before, and creates a considered conclusion to the band’s epic debut album.
Mumford & Sons’ live reputation goes before them, and now their incredible debut reveals the extent of their magic and majesty on record. Feel the fire in your belly and the romance in your heart as you listen, let your voice break into rapture – and you too sigh no more.