I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons

I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons. In fact, their song Little Lion Man, discovered on iPlayer replays of Adam and Joe’s 6Music show hit me at exactly the right time. Not sure where I was going and what I was doing, that song proved a nice outlet with it’s pointy lyrics and aggressive banjo. I didn’t pick to like the song, the song picked me to like it. Consequently, I got their album for Christmas and listened to it a great deal. No, I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons. I did.

I wasn’t that impressed by comeback single I Will Wait but I still want to listen to the new album. Because it can’t be THAT bad right? It’s still folky pop with banjos right? Yet, when I open Spotify I notice me turning on the PRIVATE LISTENING MODE. I normally would only do that for Taylor… and other cheesy acts like…. Never mind, it’s private!

This makes me wonder: Are Mumford and Sons truly that bad, that mainstream, that I have to switch to private mode? Possibly. One thing that does strike me while listening to Babel in the privacy of my own home, is that it’s all so same-y… All so similar to Sigh No More was and not necessarily much better. Even the album cover is similar – albeit a bit more party than the first one.

Nope, now I’ve grown used to the sound of Mumford and Sons, it doesn’t interest me that much anymore. If the songs below that aren’t adding much to the equation, it doesn’t matter whether there’s one banjo or fifteen. You might as well have none. And then it’s just songs that go from quiet to loud to quiet to loud. And then loud again.

We can give them credit for trying for a different sound than other popular bands, but I’d give them even more for trying to evolve even the tiniest bit. And this album doesn’t do that. It does what it says on the tin. Mumford and Sons may sound complex, but they’re not really that complex – it turns out now. Which is a shame.

Or as @Fotografieke puts it on Twitter:

Harsh. but true.

There’s much more interesting folk pop going on. If you know where to look. And I do. But that’s another story. I’d be lying if I said I never liked Mumford & Sons. But I don’t like them that much anymore.

On a clear day…

A great track in Breaking Bad last night. Enjoyed this a lot. Might have missed a lot of pop being born in the second half of the eighties, but there’s nice drama series like Breaking Bad to get me up to speed, eh :).

Check it on Spotify, or watch this YouTube thing below:

Here’s my weather of a killing kind

This June sees the release of the eagerly awaited (by me at least) album of the Tallest Man On Earth. The one time I saw him live easily takes the top spot in my fictional best solo gigs ever chart. Here’s a song he recorded for the Adult Swim Singles Program 2011. And if after watching this, you don’t know what I mean by ‘eagerly awaited’. Well… Then I guess true beauty is lost on you.

 

If you’re craving something more than whats been given to you


Pete Lawrie mostly made an impact on me with his low-key, emotional songs. His debut (A Little Brighter) had a bit too much strings to resonate and made an impact. This however, is a totally different beast. It’s called Taste of Silver. And I like what it’s doing to my subwoofer.

Only need one more link for my chain

So I spent a lovely, lovely weekend in Groningen these last days. Besides catching up with friends I also experienced a lovely evening full of music. First, my good friend Mischa opened the night with Patrick, who then went on to perform with Harry Bird as Harry Bird & The Rubber Wellies.

A nice guy with a lovely stage presence full of warmth and beaming smiles, Harry Bird played a set full of folk songs that were catchier that made a lot of faces smile that evening – including mine. Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies released their full-length Long Way To Be Free which is available here (a new album is in the works, apparently). Here’s one song with a lovely stop-motion video, called Ain’t got far to go.

And here’s a live performance where you can get a glimpse of the stage presence I was talking about. And the song is darn catchy too!

So hope you like his work. I do.

Waiting to sail your worries away

I watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a lot when I was young. It was already ancient (compared to me at least) when I was young, but my uncle put in on a VHS-tape for me along with a musical Disney film that was certainly less awesome (it didn’t have a flying car, which I thought was a neat idea). I was happy to find out that one of my favourite authors – Roald Dahl – worked on the script. I didn’t know that back then, of course.

I haven’t really listened to the songs since I last watched the film. Since, I’ve doubled in size and age if I’m correct. But hearing Richard Hawley and Lisa Hannigan cover the lovely Hushabye Mountain, brings back fond memories of the film (that probably hasn’t aged well, special effects-wise).

Normally, I’m not Hawley’s biggest fan. His music and voice just never hit the right spot here. I’m not sure why. But this is excellent and I think Hawley’s on even better form than Hannigan here (whose name made me watch the video in the first place). It’s an excellent performance from the Irish show Other Voices. Lovely.

 

‪In Session: To Kill A King – “Graduates Escape” (The Crypt Sessions‬‏)

I first saw a band named Kid iD in 2008 in Folkestone, supporting my favourite band. I bought their CD because I really liked them (the CD was called That Dreaded Monster What If, which I liked as a title). After another EP the band dropped their band name, some instruments and decided to aim bigger. This strategy seems to work as To Kill A King have stepped up to the task with awesome, folk-tingled songs with great, deep vocals and harmonies. This session video proves how far they’ve come from being “just a nice band” to a band to be genuinely excited about. This is a song I had never heard before called Graduates Escape. Enjoy. And repeat.

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