British folk-rock act Mumford & Sons follow up their 2012 Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year with third full-length album Wilder Mind. It was recorded at Air Studios, London and produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, HAIM, Florence & The Machine). Wilder Mind features 12 new tracks, written collaboratively by the band in London, Brooklyn and Texas.
A number of the new songs were written and demoed at Aaron Dessner’s (The National) garage studios in Brooklyn. The band also returned to Eastcote Studios in London, where they recorded debut Sigh No More, for further writing and demo sessions. This new album marks a significant departure for the young band from their previous records, 2009’s Sigh No More, and 2012’s Babel.
The early sessions in New York and London witnessed a change in the band’s approach not just to writing and recording, but to texture and dynamics, too. There is a minimalist yet panoramic feel to the new album, whose sound Marcus Mumford describes as “a development, not a departure.” It came about by both accident, and by conscious decision.
He adds, “Towards the end of the Babel tour, we’d always play new songs during soundchecks, and none of them featured the banjo, or a kick-drum. And demoing with Aaron meant that, when we took a break, we knew it wasn’t going to involve acoustic instruments. We didn’t say: ‘No acoustic instruments.’ But I think all of us had this desire to shake it up. The songwriting hasn’t changed drastically; it was led more by a desire to not do the same thing again. Plus, we fell back in love with drums! It’s as simple as that.”
“It felt completely natural, though,” says Ben Lovett, “like it did when we started out. It was very much a case of, if someone was playing an electric guitar, drums were going to complement that best; and, sonically, it then made sense to add a synth or an organ. We chose instruments that played well off each other, rather than consciously trying to overhaul it.”
Mumford And Sons Wilder Mind Track Listing:
1. Tompkins Square Park
3. The Wolf
4. Wilder Mind
5. Just Smoke
7. Snake Eyes
8. Broad-Shouldered Beasts
9. Cold Arms
11. Only Love
12. Hot Gates