Mumford & Sons / Sigh No More


Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons are a folk rock band. The band is made up of Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), “Country” Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, dobro), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion), and Ted Dwane (vocals, double bass).[1]. Although the band members have claims on certain instruments, the members switch instruments during live shows according to convenience, for they each play a variety of instruments. The band formed in late 2007, rising out of London’s folk scene with other artists such as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Jay Jay Pistolet and Noah and the Whale.

The band has often supported Laura Marling at concerts, while their association with Noah and the Whale can be traced back to St Paul’s School, Barnes and King’s College School, Wimbledon. Mumford and Lovett attended King’s College School alongside Noah and the Whale bassist Matt Owens, while Marshall attended St Paul’s School along with Charlie Fink, lead singer of Noah and the Whale.

The band’s debut album, Sigh No More, was released in the United Kingdom in October 2009, and February 2010 in the United States.

The Analysis:

Sigh No More—-Beginning with lush arrangements and some damn harmonious vocals, the song is rather quiet but allows you to hear every little note that is being played. The accents on these guys are priceless! I love the gentleness of the whole damn thing and the gentle switch off from vocalist to vocalist…this is very different….but in a great way!

The Cave—-Beginning with a gentle acoustic guitar and a lone vocal, this has a melody line that is damn irresistible. Slowly, there are sounds added to the track..little by little the song exposes itself to you. This is wonderfully layered with subtle harmonies…and when the song does really come alive, hang on to your hat. this is fabulous…this is the furthest thing from mainstream, but has found a permanent place on my playlist. Fantastic!!!

Winter Winds—-This has some nice horns at the onset and a remarkable banjo that fits the heavily accented vocal wonderfully well. When the entire band joins in on the vocal, this really has the sound of a very large band. This is magical….the different instruments all work together to create a lush and wonderful landscape of sound. This is different, but just different to keep me listening.

Roll Away Your Stone—-With a sad and forlorn sounding guitar at the onset of the song, the banjo comes in after and adds to the sweet sound of the song. The vocal is a lone one…full of an emotional edge. you are suddenly surprised as the song opens up with some furious picking that last a short time and then quiets suddenly again…just to repeat the process over and over..keeping you on your seat wondering what is coming next. This is fantastic…a true plethora of sounds and rhythms.

White Blank Page—-Delivered with a vocal that is as melancholy as the music itself, this is a stark and beautiful display. The vocal is just rough enough to keep your attention and the music just quiet enough to make you listen with keen ears to every note. There are huge moments in the song…when the music actually leads the song, but it is the lone and lonely vocal that is the star of this show…this is just wonderful!

I Gave You All—-Again, beginning with a stark and lone acoustic guitar and a lonely emotional vocal, this release can become tedious at this point…because of the sameness and the lonely and quiet aspect of it all…you find your disposition taking a downward turn. It is only the huge instrumental bright spots that save this from being a bit too depressing for the mainstream. These are some pretty intense lyrics as well.

Little Lion Man—-This is just fantastic!!! Much more upbeat musically and showing that magical vocal with the heavy accent to the best light, this is just incredible. I love this…when all of the instruments join in and the band goes on a mini-rampage, it is just what the release needed at this point. This is full of life, fantastic lyrics and a damn nice energy!!!

Timshel—-Returning to a more sedate and predictable sound at the onset, the saving grace is when the vocal begins on this track. It seems like all 4 voices are joined together…delivering this huge harmonious beautiful sound that takes your breath away. This is simply beautiful…with lyrics that make you pause and ponder as well.

Thistle & Weeds—-Full of the sedate and gentle instrumental meanderings that shapes this release, the vocal is more sedate than usual…but the lyrics are like huge colorful swipes of paint on a bleach white canvas. This save the track from obscurity…the emotions are real and raw…the words dig in and find a place in your psyche.

Awake My Soul—-With little musical introduction, the vocal begins almost automatically from the start. The lyrics…again, are full of this vivid imagery that is just breathtaking. Mumford delivers line after line of words that are just meant to sear a place in your soul…awaken your emotions and make you think all day about the things that are better left alone…not anymore.

Dust Bowl Dance—-Stark piano begins this track….ushering in a poignant lyric that would rival the best of Springsteen Americana. The accent is heavy on this track..allowing you to realize that emotions and lyrics are not bound by oceans or land lines. This is wonderfully quaint…touching me and making me think much more than i wanted to this afternoon…but, that is what music is all about.

After The Storm—-Ending this release much as it started, this is stark and naked…bolstered only bu a lone acoustic guitar and lyrics that squeeze you heart tighter than cardiac arrest. This is brilliant folk-pop that was designed perhaps to exile demons…both his and yours! This is wonderfully beautiful.

**** out of 5

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