Review: Mumford & Sons – EP (2008)

As this debut EP progresses, songs shrink in length yet the case for folk/bluegrass becoming more accessible exponentially grows. The London-based Mumford & Sons plays a style of folk more akin to America than the United Kingdom with balanced, paced elements that collectively support one another without overstepping boundaries or detracting from the underlying goal of each song. “White Blank Page” is a tempered, tentative track that frames their approach. Music comes second to the Marcus Mumford’s lyrics (I would say singing, but all perform back up vocals). “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 as well as your folly?” is released in a harmonic croon before a quivering violin introduces an acoustic buildup. Each phrase is punctuated by the organic footsteps of a string bass, which produces wonderfully natural, traditional sound in their music.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbaL2bnQcSo&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&fs=1]
Track 2: White Blank Page

“Lend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all. / 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”

There’s little to detract or feel out of place on the EP. The recording itself seems unbalanced as some songs are more flourished than others. However, this recording has significantly more dynamism than most anything I’ve heard all year. It’s short, sweet manifold of folk infused with bluegrass that feels based in traditional American music than what we see as British.

The EP is currently available for free through Rawrip. Sign up now, get 10 free downloads, and use them towards it. The site also features a fantastic piano and bass paced song, “Banjolin Song”, that makes The Fray‘s own recipe of piano-driven pop rock seem lazy and forced.

Mumford & Sons
MySpace | Purchase (RawRip)

If You Like:
Bon Iver
Beirut
Bright Eyes
The Fray
Johnny Flynn
Laura Marling
Lightspeed Champion
Murder By Death

Rating: 9.0/10
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