Okay, so, in interest of full-disclosure, this particular blog entry should really be titled “46th(ish) Listen” or something more along those lines. Let’s be real here: I wasn’t this late to the Mumford & Sons party. However, I’m all about giving credit where credit is due, and I first checked out this band after Dave Franco recommended them to me. Okay, he technically recommended them to Leslie Simon, and in turn, all AP readers, when she interviewed him for our final Close-Up feature back in AP 261. C’mon—anything that cute recommends a band, and I’m sold.
Plus, Mumford & Sons incorporate banjo, and now I can talk about my love for the banjo without mentioning the Avett Brothers (one of my all-time favorite bands, but I’m limited as to how much I can play them in the office, per Scott Heisel). See how this all works?
Anyway, MTV announced their VMA nominations yesterday morning, and Mumford & Son’s video for “Little Lion Man” got a nod for Best Cinematography. Check it our now if you haven’t seen it:
While a beautiful video for an even more beautiful song, Marcus Mumford & Co. are up against some stiff competition in the way of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Eminem’s “Not Afraid,” Jay-Z & Alicia Key’s “Empire State Of Mind” and Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” Let’s be honest: Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is basically a short film and should probably win every award possible this year—including an Oscar, is my filmmaker brother had anything to say about it. Still, there’s something to be said for these earnest folk-rockers playing with the big boys, so to speak (also props to Florence + The Machine getting a nod in this category).
Anyway, the VMA nom was really just my way to make this post relevant to today. I am totally, hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with Mumford & Son’s album, Sigh No More. Don’t even get me started on the harmonies—just pure heaven. It doesn’t matter if the band are recalling sparse hymnals (“Timshel,” “Thistle & Weeds”) or working themselves to the brink of a near-frenzy in the confessional “White Blank Page”). Every song is layered, beautiful, honest and completely able to fill my banjo quota. And it’s one of those rare albums that speak to me equally, no matter what my mood. And lately, that’s saying something. Even if you’re not much for the alt-country/bluegrass, it’s hard to deny there isn’t some powerful stuff in the stories these songs tell—both through their lyrics and emotions. Take this passage from “Awake My Soul,” for example: “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die/Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” Sometimes music that makes you evaluate a little bit isn’t such a bad thing. When it’s also fun to sing along to in the car with the windows down? Gravy.