Mumford & Sons | Picture of the Week

Mumford & Sons

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What The Folk? Mumford & Sons Are Taking A Break

After months of touring on the momentum of their triumphant, Grammy winning album Babel, Mumford & Sons are understandably worn out. It’s a wonder these guys found the energy to continue touring for so long, especially considering the band received quite a scare when bassist Ted Dwane suffered a blood clot in his brain last June (he’s since fully recovered). I know what you’re thinking—they just need to go to England and sleep, right, then they’ll be back? Well, it appears not. The stars of our Picture of the Week might just be gone longer than you think…

The process of touring can be incredibly tiring. Between the constant traveling and the demanding concert schedule, who could blame Mumford & Sons for needing a rest? This week’s picture says it all; when you continually play with as much passion as they do, the body and mind need time to recover. Unlike most “between touring” breaks, however, the band seems to be entering something more open-ended.

“There won’t be any Mumford & Sons activities for the foreseeable future…” band-member Ben Lovett told Rolling Stone, which sheds light on what looks to be an extended hiatus with no end in sight. It seems they need to recharge and revisit life outside of being ridiculously famous. Admittedly, it does make sense to take some time off from the project so that when they return it feels fresh again.

But before you start gearing up for live music hibernation, there are some viable paths you may want to explore in the meantime. Fortunately, folk is experiencing a bit of a renaissance these days, as countless bands capitalize on many of the same things that make Mumford & Sons such a resonating act. Consider the following a guide to a post-Mumford apocalypse.

First off, there’s Volcano Choir. Don’t let the name fool you; they’re not Hawaiian choirboys, although that actually sounds pretty cool. Instead, this riveting folk act is headed by Justin Vernon (otherwise known as Bon Iver), and is now touring for their new album, Repave. If you’re a fan of any of Bon Iver’s music, you’ll feel right at home here. Vernon brings his signature falsetto and his knack for creating music that hits you in the gut.

Next, check out Phosphorescent. After teetering on the brink of success for years, their sixth LP, Muchacho, finally broke through. The mastermind behind the band, Matthew Houck, is a veteran at creating beautiful folk music, and he has the beard to prove it. Listen to “Song For Zula” (this writer’s vote for best song of 2013) and you’ll see why.

Local Natives are another band that continues to shine. Their layered harmonies and pounding percussion make for a spirited live show, much like Mumford & Sons. They vie for the same communal feel with call-and-answer lyrics in what promises to be one the most fun and cathartic concerts you’ll ever attend. Just wait until they play “Wide Eyes,” then thank me.

Lastly, there’s Father John Misty. Led by Joshua Tillman (alumnus of folk heroes, Fleet Foxes), this act likes a psychedelic twist with their folk, reinforcing the fact that you can add just about any element to folk music and it’ll still be good.

In a post-Mumford world, we can only help you find a way to cope, and if you’re sitting there wondering “Mumford & who?” the answer is, exactly.

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Article by Nicolas White


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