February 23, 2010

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (UK 2009 / US 2010)

With Midlake, Local Natives, and Mumford & Sons all releasing albums in a span of a few months (weeks, depending on when you evaluate the international release dates), folk rooted rock is really making a surge. I suppose this is really nothing new in particular, I just feel like the market for stringed, minstrel-like  instruments (other than guitar and bass of course) and layered harmonies have really hit a high.  Fleet Foxes appears to be the preeminent power in this broad genre at this point in time; however, with the Sigh No More LP I think Mumford & Sons can give ‘em a run for their money. This London-based quartet, whose name sounds more like a general store or cobbler shop than a band, takes their vocal harmonies and instrumentation real seriously, with nearly every track making a slow-building skyward arch until your heart is lifted and your speakers are overflowing with sound. The absence of drums on most tracks does not prevent them from inducing foot-stomping and body rocking. There is plenty of strummy acoustic guitar, joined by vigorous banjo, key pounding and memorable lines - creating tracks that ooze with upbeat, confident vibes. This album accomplishes what I think a lot of bands aim for but fall short of... an LP that doesn’t feel deflated by already released EPs. “Little Lion Man,” “Awake My Soul” and “Winter Winds” are my favorites, but truthfully, I don’t think that there is a bad piece on the entire release.


Nightrain said...

"The Cave" is fantastic as well.

All great work.

Amanda said...

Currently loving all three of these bands. It's a good year.

Nightrain said...

Where will this finish on the year-end lists?

Maybe in the top two?