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Question: what are Mumford and Sons famous for? Is it the rejuvenation of the waistcoat as a male fashion choice? (I believe they’re known as vests in the U.S.) Is it a sudden upswing in the sales of electric banjos? Is it luxurious facial hair? No, it’s music.
They travel all over the world, playing their bluegrass/folk hybrid and harmonizing like backwoods miners people go nuts. Marcus Mumford plays the bass drum with his foot while strumming his guitar and singing at the same time, the one who looks like a trucker hobo zombie plays the banjo while writhing like a charmed cobra, the fellow on the keyboards jumps up and down a lot, and the bass player contorts his face into the kind of gurn you tend to see most on people who really enjoy a good belch. That’s Mumford and Sons, and good luck to ‘em.
So when they decided to create a teaser trailer for their new album, you’d have thought these would be the strengths they’d have played to. Not the fact that their name would suit the frontage on an 1800s apothecary store, not the ever-present hint that they would disdain a sugary carbonated beverage, unless it was served in a frosted glass bottle, and not the fact that a Mumfords party is one where all the bunting is hand-made and uneven, because that’s how they did it in The Past. It’s all about the music, right?
Well that’s just… I mean you can sort of… I guess if… oh.
The funny thing is, for such a self-consciously olde worlde concern, their grasp of viral marketing on the internet (we’re not the first to mention this video and we won’t be the last) is incredibly canny.
But does it wet your appetite for the new album, or is it just a little too clever for its own good? Tell us here:
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic