After three years of silence from British indie folk band Mumford & Sons, the group finally announced the upcoming arrival of their new album, “Delta.” With their most recent record, “Wilder Mind”, released in 2015, the band stretched the limits of their sound by delving into the realm of harder beats and more electronic riffs, and according to their new single “Guiding Light” that debuted on Monday, September 24, the band plans on following that same direction.
Mumford & Sons isn’t the only folk rock band expanding their sounds. In fact, other indie bands, such as the Decemberists with their song “Once In My Life” are also experimenting with how electronic sounds fit into the confines of folk music — if they even do at all. It’s a growing phenomenon, for sure, but was it the right move for Marcus Mumford and his crew? Their new single seems to suggest so.
While some argue that the lyrical integrity and depth of a record is often compromised when a group or artist makes a more pop-centered switch (see: Taylor Swift’s “Reputation,” or if you want to go way back, Bob Dylan’s Newport Folk Festival performance), the members of Mumford & Sons haven’t made any such sacrifices. Yes, the lyrics of “Guiding Light” aren’t some multi-layered poem with hidden messages hiding behind each verse, but the message is clear.
“Guiding Light” is an uplifting and encouraging ode celebrating those closest and most dear to us, as the group harmonizes during the chorus, “Well, I know I had it all on the line / But don’t just sit with folded hands and become blind / Cause even when there is no star in sight, you’ll always be my guiding light.” The track is sentimental without falling into a pop-folk banality, and it could prove to be the perfect precursor of what’s to come with the remaining nine tracks on “Delta.”
With this three minute and 38 second preview of the upcoming album, it’s safe to assume that “Delta” will reflect a perfectly harmony of the old and the new. Mumford & Sons’ past albums “Babel” (2012) and “Sigh No More” (2009) fell into the more traditional confines of folk rock, and while the band hasn’t completely abandoned their roots, they have most certainly welcomed change. According to Rolling Stone, Mumford & Sons sought the help of producer Paul Epworth, whose influence on the new recording is making this the band’s most experiment album yet. During his interview with Jimmy Fallon, Marcus Mumford revealed, “On this record it’s felt like there have been no boundaries creatively,” and the album is also said to “draw on the shared experience of being on and off the road” and represents “a moving collection of songs perhaps more intimate and expansive, both lyrically and musically, than ever before.”
Never fear — the true essence and core of folk music will remain at the heart of Mumford & Sons’ record, but be prepared for an entirely different musical experience coming from this record.
While Mumford told Fallon that the band is still working on the album, “Delta” is set to be released November 16th, and hopefully the group decides to throw us a view more previews in the meantime