September 10

Mumford and Sons: Music

This is a blog post that I had to submit to my music class blog and I wanted to share our first project with my blogging friends! Our assignment was to write liner notes for any album that we wanted so I chose Mumford and Sons because I already had their whole album and I loved every song on it!! Sorry for some of the cheesy language, I’m trying to learn musical language :)

 

 

Mumford and Sons Sigh No More

 

 

Mumford and Sons is a multi genre British band, labeled as folk rock but also sometimes called bluegrass, country, indie rock and many more. Their first album Sigh No More was released in the US in 2010. The album climbed the charts and won two BRIT awards. The bands designated leader Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, drum, mandolin) has added many of his own personal touches throughout the songs. From his Christian up bringing with his vicar father there are lines seemingly religious or faith based, seen in most of their songs. They have been harshly criticized for singing about hard times when they grew up in privileged families. Though Marcus himself did not experience first hand the hard ships that they sing of, his family’s non-profit church leads charity events, which he helped with when he was younger. To Marcus Mumford Old Crow was the starting inspiration into country music. Their name is slightly deceiving; though the lead’s name is Mumford the other members are not his sons. They came up with the name as a nod to “antique family business names” (Marcus Mumford1). With the album cover a picture of an old town shop, they used their name as the idea for the cover. One of their main points on topics of their songs is that they don’t have a set meaning nor do they want to. “We don’t want to be prescriptive in the way that people hear our music.  We are definitely prescriptive in the way we play it. Like amongst each other. But we don’t want to prescribe emotion or prescribe people’s reaction to it.” (Marcus Mumford2) Meaning they don’t share their inspirations to the public so many of the meanings to their songs are assumptions. A particular inspiration for their song Sigh No More was a Shakespearean play called Much Ado About Nothing; this play has a song titled Sigh No More. Some of the words mirror each other in the songs, both choruses are the same “Sigh no more”, “One foot in sea and one on shore”, and direct quotes from the play.3 The band is introspective; they have a way of scraping away your layers and showing yourself who you are or who you want to be.

 

 

 

Song: Thistle & Weeds

Written & Performed by: Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett and Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall

 

The bands claims that “we’re fans of faith not religion” seem to mean that they do follow the bible; they just don’t want to be labeled as a specific religion. Though it does not have obvious religious words like God but there are hints throughout their songs. Thistle and Weeds has some underlying notes within it like “good seeds”, mention of sins, corruption, and an afterlife. The heavy vibes from the low notes and deep voices keeps the song powerful and dark.

 

 

 

Song: Awake My Soul

Written & Performed by: Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett and Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall

 

They are soul searchers, as their songs proclaim. With Awake My Soul they plead for understanding and truth. I believe that the reference to their faith in this song is the line “you were made to meet your maker” showing their belief in a higher power. The word soul is mentioned a lot in their display of songs. Soul is the basic make up of faith because your beliefs and thoughts revolve around how you feel which is soul.

 

 

 

Song: After the Storm

Written & Performed by: Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett and Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall

 

Again with After the Storm there are signs that hint to their belief in God. The visual you see of someone kneeling and looking up to the sky praying is vivid, plus the mention of grace brings their views into focus. This song shows the ups and down and hope in life. Another theme I have seen through their songs is the talk of death and uncertainty. They create songs that are easy to relate to with lyrics about not knowing what is ahead (After the Storm), strength and determination (After the Storm), finding yourself (Awake My Soul), being let down (Dust Bowl Dance, having hope (Thistle and Weeds), and hard times (The Cave).

 

Reflection

When people ask me what religion I am, I normally answer that I don’t follow a set religion. After doing the research on this band, I noticed that I might have subconsciously understood their views on faith through the lyrics. Their views on religion and faith are very similar to mine and after having done the research it makes me love this band even more. To have some semblance of closeness with the music and the feelings and thoughts behind it makes it feel more personal then it was before. Even before the assignment I had been obsessed with this album when it had come out. My best friend and I would listen to the whole album everyday on our way to high school my junior year. I have to add that I love their songs from Babel too, but since this was the first album that made me fall in love with them I had to use it.

 

Bibliography:

 

  1. Barooah, Jahnabi. “Marcus Mumford, Lead Singer Of Mumford & Sons: “I Wouldn’t Call Myself A Christian”” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 03 Apr. 2013. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.

 

 

  1. Patterson, Sylvia. “Mumford & Sons: “We’re Fans of Faith, Not Religion””Big Issue. N.p., 03 Oct. 2012. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.

 

  1. Lamont, Tom. “How Mumford & Sons Became the Biggest Band in the World.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 16 Nov. 2012. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.

 

  1. Powers, Ann. “Mumford & Sons Preaches To Masses.” NPR. NPR, 27 Sept. 2012. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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