I have a confession to makeâ€¦ I was absolutely dreading listening to Mumford & Sons debut album. Theyâ€™ve been the hype band of the year (you know, the one that bloke who claims to know everything about music keeps banging on about and claiming to have been watching for yearsâ€¦) and generally that means I wonâ€™t understand the appeal. Last year, for instance, it was Glasvegas that everyone was gushing over and I still canâ€™t understand all the excitement. Anyway, back to this album. I was wrong.
There, I said it.
Thereâ€™s a wonderfully rich old time Americana feel to Sigh No More. Itâ€™s the album I was hoping for when I first heard Fleet Foxes, impressive stuff for a bunch of Londoners! From the opening we have excellent musicianship, but this really comes to the fore with the beautiful â€˜Winter Windsâ€™, where Marcus Mumfordâ€™s very English folk vocal (it almost feels like an old madrigal) drifts over banjo, strings and even the odd horn, itâ€™s a beautiful mix that is far better than the sum of itâ€™s parts. Perhaps the best track here though is the haunting â€˜White Blank Pageâ€™, a song that conjures up bleak winter mornings far from towns and cities in places where time seems to stand stillâ€¦ this is a stunning song.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this album lies in the fact that it feels like a lost old recordingâ€¦ itâ€™s hardly going to feel out of date in a few weeks, is it?