The atmosphere at Music Hall Of Williamsburg was thick; like a down blanket, or a warm piece of cake, or any number of your favorite comfortable things. That could probably be attributed to the lush harmonies and textures of Mumford and Sons, a group of musicians (and not a family owned apothecary) who knocked several out of the park during this sold-out show earlier this Spring. From the schizophrenic instrument swaps to the bass-drum heavy foot-stomping tunes, Mumford and Sons produce a slice of music that is both wonderful and intrinsically dashing, proving they're not your typical folk rock band.
Our latest exclusive slice of concert performance features a sold-out crowd chanting every word before a band sporting a few coordinated vests...because, as they admitted to us a few hours before the show, they are just British. Add charming and humanizing to the list. The band is as humble as their lyricism, which seems to effortlessly function as a empathetic connection to the audience. I harp on sincerity as the main ingredient in successful music, and they deliver to your door, ON TIME. The soaring crescendos of "White Blank Page", or the fever of "Little Lion Man", for example, swell the spirit and stir the senses. It's tough to claim such songs as detached or anonymous, especially with a room full of people connecting and projecting them onto their own lives.
Here is your chance to project it onto your life. It's our latest concert, and it's one of the most spectacular folk rock shows we have ever had the privilege to film.
One, two... Lived unbruised, we are friends Oh man is a giddy thing dismay or enslave you] you were made to be] to cry of my heart to see, the beauty of love as it was made to be dismay or enslave you] you were made to be] There is a design, an alignment to cry of my heart to see was made to be] you dismay or enslave you] It will set you free Be more like the man you were made to be to decry of my heart to see] The beauty of love as it was made to be Thank you very much! and how woozy my eyes] any truth in your lies] on things I don't know] I must finally show] we'll conquer them all] But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall Lend me your eyes I can change what you see But your soul you must keep, totally free Awake my soul And awake my soul How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes I struggle to find any truth in your lies And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know My weakness I feel I must finally show In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die And where you invest your love, you invest your life In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die you invest your life] Awake my soul Awake my soul Awake my soul For you were made to meet your maker But awake my soul Awake my soul Awake my soul to meet your maker] to meet your maker] to meet your maker] - Thank you very much! Cheers! Can you lie next to her And give her your heart As well as your body and can you lie next to her And confess your love And can you kneel before this king And say I'm clean, I'm clean In loving you with my whole heart Oh, tell me now, where was my fault In loving you with my whole heart A white blank page and a swelling rage, rage You did not think when you sent me to the brink, to the brink You desired my attention But denied my affections, my affections So tell me now, where was my fault In loving you with my whole heart Oh tell me now, where was my fault Heart, heart, heart, heart Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life Oh lead me to the truth and I Heart, heart, heart, heart - Thank you. I have a problem playing in New York. Because just walking around, you're all so fucking cool. It's like it makes it very intimidating. And you're a quite fat, quite sweaty Englishman. There's all these like really skinny drainpipe, Ray-Ban-wearing dudes walking around. You just pass them on the street, you know what I mean. Dickheads. One, two, three, four. Well I came home like a stone These days of dust But I'll kneel down wait for now And I'll kneel down wait for now So break my step You forgave and I won't forget And him with less Shake the excess wait for now] And I'll kneel down know my ground Now I'll be bold As well as strong Use my head alongside my heart So take my flesh And fix my eyes. That tethered mind free from the lies And I'll kneel down. Wait for now And I'll kneel down. Know my ground. And I'll kneel down Wait for now Raise my hands. Paint my spirit gold and bow my head Keep my heart slow and raise my hands Paint my spirit gold. And bow my head Keep my heart slow - Thank you very much! - This song is called "I Gave You All" Rip the earth in two with your mind. And seal the urge which ensues with brass wires. I never meant you any harm But your tears feel warm as they fall on my forearms. I close my eyes for a while And force from the world a patient smile And how can you say that your truth is better than ours? Shoulder to shoulder, now brother, we carry no arms And the blind man sleeps in the doorway of his home If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy I could have won. But I gave you all I gave you all I gave you all Close my eyes for a while. Force from the world a patient smile. But I gave you all I gave you all I gave you all And you rip it from my hands. And you swear it's all gone And you rip out all I had Just to say that you've won And you rip it from my hands And you swear it's all gone And you rip out all I had just to say that you've won, you've won Well now you've won But I gave you all. I gave you all. I gave you all. - Thank you! You are very welcome to dance, if you can. "Little Lion Man"] - One, two, three, oh! Weep for yourself, my man You'll never be what is in your heart Weep, little lion man, you're not as brave as you were at the start. Rate yourself and rake yourself. Take all the courage you have left And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head But it was not your fault but mine And it was your heart on the line I really fucked it up this time. Didn't I, my dear? Didn't I, my... Ho! Tremble for yourself, my man, You know that you have seen this all before Tremble, little lion man, You'll never settle any of your scores. Your grace is wasted in your face, Your boldness stands alone among the wreck. Now, learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck. But it was not your fault but mine. And it was your heart on the line I really fucked it up this time. Didn't I, my dear? But it was not your fault but mine And it was your heart on the line I really fucked it up this time Didn't I, my dear? Didn't I, my dear? Ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhh, ahhh ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahh - One, Two, But it was not your fault but mine And it was your heart on the line I really fucked it up this time Didn't I, my dear? But it was not your fault but mine And it was your heart on the line. I really fucked it up this time. Didn't I, my dear? Didn't I, my dear? - Thanks a lot! Cheers! And in the middle of the night I may watch you go There'll be no value in the strength of walls that I have grown There'll be no comfort in the shade Of the shadows thrown. But I'd be yours if you'd be mine. Stretch out my life and pick the seams out. Take what you like, but close my ears and eyes. Watch me stumble over and over I had done wrong to build your tower. But call me home And I will build a throne and wash my eyes out never again. But love the one you hold And I'll be your goal to have and to hold. A lover of the lights, With skin too tight And eyes like marbles. You spin me high. So, watch me as I glide, Before I tumble over and over. I know I tried. I was not stable. And flawed by pride I miss my sanguine eyes. So, hold my hands up. Breathe in and breathe out. So, love the one you hold, and I'll be your goal. To have and to hold. A lover of the lights. And in the middle of the night I may watch you go. There'll be no value in the strength of walls that I have grown. There'll be no comfort in the shade of the shadows thrown. You may not trust the promises Of the change I'll show But I'll be yours if you'll be mine. So, love the one you hold And I will be your goal to have and to hold. A lover of the lights. So love the one you hold, and I will be your goal. To have and to hold A lover of the lights. - Thank you! "Thistle & Weeds"] Spare me your judgments and spare me your dreams, because recently mine have been tearing my seams. I sit alone in this winter, clarity which clouds my mind. Alone in the wind and the rain you left me. It's getting dark darling, too dark to see. And I'm on my knees, and your faith in shreds, it seems. Corrupted by the simple sniff of riches blown. I know you have felt much more love than you've shown. And I'm on my knees and the water creeps to my chest. But plant your hope with good seeds. Don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds. Rain down, rain down on me. Look over your hills and be still. The sky above us shoots to kill. Rain down, rain down on me. But I will hold on. I will hold on hope. I will hold on. I will hold on hope. I will hold on. I will hold on hope. I will hold on. I will hold on hope. I will hold on. I will hold on. I begged you to hear me, there's more than flesh and bones. Let the dead bury their dead, and They will come out in droves. But take the spade from my hands and fill in the holes you've made But plant your hope with good seeds. Don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds. Rain down, rain down on me. - Thank you very much! - Are you all right? Good. playing "Timshel"] Cold is the water. It freezes your already cold mind. Already cold, cold mind. And death is at your doorstep. And it will steal your innocence. But it will not steal your substance. But you are not alone in this. And you are not alone in this. As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand. Hold your hand. And you are the mother. The mother of your baby child. The one to whom you gave life, And you have your choices, and these are what make man great. His ladder to the stars. But you are not alone in this. And you are not alone in this. As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand. Hold your hand, and I will tell the night, whisper, "Lose your sight. " But I can't move the mountains for you. - Thank you! playing "The Cave"] It's empty in the valley of your heart. The sun, it rises slowly as you walk. Away from all the fears and all the faults you've left behind. The harvest left no food for you to eat You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see. But I have seen the same. I know the shame in your defeat. But I will hold on hope and I won't let you choke on the noose around you neck. And I'll find strength in pain. And I will change my ways. I'll know my name as it's called again because I have other things to fill my time. You take what is yours and I'll take mine. Now, let me at the truth, which will refresh my broken mind. So, tie me to a post and block my ears. I can see widows and orphans through my tears. I know my call despite my faults and despite my growing fears. But I will hold on hope. And I won't let you choke, On the noose around your neck. And I'll find strength in pain. And I will change my ways. I'll know my name as it's called again. So, come out of your cave walking on your hands. And see the world hanging upside down You can understand dependence, when you know the maker's hand. So, make your siren's call. And sing all you want I will not hear what you have to say. Because I need freedom now And I need to know how To live my life as it's meant to be And I will hold on hope. And I won't let you choke, On the noose around your neck. And I'll find strength in pain. And I will change my ways. I'll know my name as it's called again. Thank you very much! - Cheers, thank you, once again, thank you so much to all of you for coming. It's been a real pleasure. We're the Mumford Sons, and we'll see you again. Thank you Williamsburg, New York, America, thank you. "Dust Bowl Dance"] The young man stands on the edge of his porch. The days were short and the father was gone. There was no one in the town and no one in the field. This dusty barren land had given all it could yield. I've been kicked off my land at the age of sixteen. And I have no idea where else my heart could have been. I've placed all my trust at the foot of this hill. And now, I am sure my heart will never be still. So, collect your courage and collect your horse And pray you never feel this same kind of remorse. Seal my heart and break my pride. I've nowhere to stand and now nowhere to hide Align my heart, my body, my mind to face what I've done and do my time. Well you are my accuser, now look in my face. Your oppression reeks of your greed and disgrace. So, one man has and another has not. How can you love what it is you have got? When you took it all from the weak hands of the poor? Liars and thieves you know not what is in store There will come a time I will look in your eye. You will pray to the God that you've always denied, Then I'll go out back and I'll get my gun I'll say, "You haven't met me, I am the only son." Seal my heart and break my pride. I've nowhere to stand and now nowhere to hide. Align my heart, my body, my mind To face what I've done and do my time. Seal my heart and break my pride. I've nowhere to stand and now nowhere to hide. Align my heart, my body, my mind. To face what I've done and do my time. Well, yes sir, yes sir, yes, it was me. I know what I've done, 'cause I know what I've seen. I went out back and I got my gun I said, "You haven't met me, I am the only son." - Thank you very, very much! We're Mumford and Sons. - We are going to try something here -- - We're going to try something here that we haven't really rehearsed at all. You've been very kind to us. Thank you very much. playing "Roll Away Your Stone"] Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. Don't leave me alone at this time. For I am afraid of what I will discover inside. 'Cause you told me that I would find a hole. Within the fragile substance of my soul. And I have filled this void with things, unreal. And all the while my character it steals. Darkness is a harsh term, don't you think? And yet it dominates the things I see It seems all my bridges have been burnt. But you say that's exactly how this grace thing works. It's not the long walk home that will change this heart. But the welcome I receive with every start. Darkness is a harsh term, don't you think? And yet it dominates the things I see. Darkness is a harsh term, don't you think? And yet it dominates the things I see. Stars hide your fires. These here are my desires. And I will give them up to you this time around. And so, I'll be found with my stake stuck in this ground. Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul. Hide your fires. These here are my desires. And I will give them up to you this time around. And so, I'll be found with my stake stuck in this ground. Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul. But you, you've gone too far this time. You have neither reason nor rhyme with which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine. That's the Middle East. - This is our last song. It's called "Whispers in the Dark. " Thank you very much. "Whispers in the Dark"] You hold your truth so purely. We'll swerve not through the minds of men. This lie is dead, and this cup of yours tastes holy, but you know I was not that mad. But my heart was colder when you'd gone. And I lost my head but found the one that I love. It's not what I do that makes me. And in my weakness I'll grow strong and hold my tongue, and I'll learn from errors made early A brush with the Devil can clear your mind. And strengthen your spine. But fingers tap into what you were once. And I'm worried that I blew my only chance. Whispers in the dark Steal a kiss and you'll break your heart. Pick up your clothes and curl your toes. Learn your lesson, lead me home. Spare my sins for the ark. I was too slow to depart. I'm a cad, but I'm not a fraud. I'd set out to serve the Lord. But my heart was colder when you'd gone. And I lost my head, but found the one that I love. Under the sun, under the sun. But fingers tap into what you were once. And I'm worried that I blew my only chance. Fingers tap into what you were once. And I'm worried that I blew my only chance. But my heart was colder when you'd gone. And I lost my head. Let's live while we are young. While we are young, while are young, while we are young. - Thank you very much! - Thank you!
The members of Mumford & Sons came together in 2007, and since have shared a common purpose: to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously. The four young men from West have fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful voices. They are staunch friends Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane who bring their music to us with the passion and pride of an old-fashioned, much-cherished, family business. They create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon, and their incredible energy draws us in quickly to their circle of songs, to the warmth of their stories, and to their magical community of misty-eyed men.
The four friends were playing a number of instruments in various bands in London throughout the summer of 2007. They were united to perform impromptu renditions of Marcus' earliest attempts at song-writing in front of crowds of friends in sweaty underground folk nights in the capital. They bonded over their love of country, bluegrass and folk, and decided to make music that sounded loud, proud and live taking music that could often be pretty and delicate, and fill it with enthusiasm, courage and confidence. It was a very exciting time, and though we loved it and were in awe of the music going on around us, we didn't consider ourselves contenders in the pretty daunting London music scene. There was never any idea of competition, just pure enjoyment, says Marcus. They loved live music so much that they would practice their sets on pavements outside the venues, and also act as backing musicians for the peers with whom they played.
This sense of playing music for the love of it has continued as the main theme through the band's short history. They booked their first rehearsals in the late autumn of 2007: As soon as we sat down together, just the four of us, we knew we had become a band cos what came out was unique to us four as individuals, says Ben. Out of this session came their first band songs: Awake My Soul and White Blank Page, highlights on their debut album.
As soon as they had their first rough cluster of songs, they hit the road, and chased the friendly live reception they got all over the country.
Word spread quickly of the band's phenomenal live show as the Sons toured extensively throughout 2008; from a barge-tour of the Thames with eight other acts, through to an island-hopping tour of the Scottish highlands, and a triumphant set at Glastonbury in June, they sold out London's Luminaire in July, only half a year after they got together. A trilogy of beautiful 10" EPs and the band's first American tour followed in support of Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit.
With each release, the music of Mumford & Sons got brighter, bolder and brawnier, with an increasing focus on their empassioned and intimate lyrics. What we write about is real, and we sing and play our instruments more passionately cos we feel like we need to. We love honest music, says Winston.
Their success continued to build, too, with two glorious benchmarks being their place on the BBC Sound Of 2009 Poll shortlist, and their London ICA show selling out in 24 hours.
When it came time to record their debut album, the band enlisted producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Bjrk's), who saw crossover potential in the Sons. He took them to the legendary Eastcote Studios where Arctic Monkeys, Brian Eno, Tindersticks and Laura Marling have honed their music on its vintage equipment; made the band buy good instruments; set them a daily routine; and encouraged them to try and work even more instinctively, to strengthen their already-powerful musical personality. "He wanted us just to sound like us", explains Ben. "He talked about us working on our music's most jubilant and melancholic moments, and make them even more evocative. And over those four weeks, everything came together."
To be released in early 2010 through Glassnote Records in North America, the album begins with the title track, Sigh No More, a statement of intent that references the romantic language of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. 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. Little Lion Man a track that Zane Lowe named the Hottest Record In The World Today on a recent Radio 1 show is a rampage about regret and unresolved heartbreak. And finally, 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 precedes them, which fans stateside can witness this fall in New York City at the annual CMJ Music Marathon, 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.