Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Guest Blogger

"The Cave" / Mumford & Sons

By Hugh Ward, Guest Blogger

Mumford & Sons seems like a simple band. Comprised of a guitar, acoustic bass, keyboards, and banjo, this London band -- formed in 2007 -- nevertheless creates an overwhelming sound with an acoustic approach. Their method for creating such a large sound comes from passion. The band's energy, especially that of singer and guitarist, Marcus Mumford, vibrates throughout their debut album, Sigh No More. This aspect really makes Mumford & Sons stand out in a crowd of folk sound.

"The Cave" leads off with one of my favorite guitar lines, a riff that creates a soothing sound as Mumford starts to sing with an equal tone. Ben Lovett eventually comes in with light piano chords that highlight the melody, and Ted Dwane begins his bass line. As the chorus comes around, however, Mumford changes his pleasant guitar riff into abbreviated chords, conveying a mood change. Backing vocals pour in to fill out the sound.

After this, the featured sound shifts from guitar to banjo, played by "Country" Winston. The, after another short verse, comes the best part of the song: when all band members yell out the lyrics while they bash away at their instruments. The song, at least for me, is most appreciated when performed live. Take a look at the video for an intimate, live performance by the band.

Mumford & Sons have really found their vocal niche. All four of the band members belt out choruses like they were born to do it. Just as in my last week's post about Arcade Fire, today's song's lyrics carry a lot of emotion. The song starts on a depressing note: "It's empty in the valley of your heart." This sentiment continues through the verse as Mumford sings about famine and defeat. But as the chorus comes around, hope is restored: "But I will hold on hope / And I won't let you choke / On the noose around your neck". The rest of the song switches between the verse emotion and the six lines of the chorus. Much as I love the musical qualities of this song, the lyrics are my favorite part -- they carry the passion that energizes Mumford & Sons' music.

If you like folk music, listen to Mumford & Sons -- they offer folk music with an extra surge of passionate conviction. It's not just this track, either; Sigh No More is a very consistent album, filled with fantastic tracks. No two songs sound alike, but the quality is high, track after track.


Gordon Thompson said...

Go Hugh!

Holly A Hughes said...

Just thought I'd mention that Mumford & Sons are doing a duet with legendary British rocker Ray Davies on his upcoming collaborations album. For those who are interested...