Sophia Elias
March 03, 2015 5:30 am

Say goodbye to that signature banjo! In a rather unexpected turn, Mumford and Sons will be enlisting the help of synthesizers, drum machines and mellotrons to compose their upcoming album, Wilder Mind. Although the guys are famous for bringing us stripped-down, folk-rock classics like “I Will Wait” and “Hopeless Wanderer,” their musical shift is a welcomed surprise.

In a recent interview with RollingStone, frontman Marcus Mumford revealed the thought process behind the band’s musical 180. “We felt that doing the same thing, or the same instrumentation again, just wasn’t for us. We’ve got a broader taste in music than just that.” The band’s bassist, Ted Dwane, added that, “None of us had really any interest in doing a sort of Babel 2. It was always going to be different.”

Aside from their desire to experiment musically, the new album was largely affected by what was happening in the bands’ personal lives. Since Babel, both Dwane and banjoist/guitarist, Winston Marshall, ended long-term relationships, leaving one half of the band totally heartbroken. For that reason, many of the songs on the new album will be reflective of these experiences. In fact, the first song they recorded on the album (called “Ditmas”) largely influenced the album’s direction.

According to RS “Ditmas” is a “catchy power-chord thrasher about a fractured relationship that set the tone for the album”. Even Mumford described the song as a “jolt [to people that have heard it]”. Considering the fact that a large part of their past work has been warm, folksy and full of poetic declarations, we can imagine how this new album may be a shock to our senses.

But what’s not to love? These guys are sailing off into uncharted territory and taking a huge risk by reinventing their music. If anything, this change in direction shows just how brave and versatile they really are. Who knows — maybe they’ll bring back the banjo another time!

The album, Wilder Mind, is due out on May 4th, but you can also catch the guys headlining and Bonnaroo and a few Gentleman of the Road Stopover Shows. Check out their tour dates here.

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