Marcus Mumford releases debut album, ‘(self-titled)’

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Recommended Tracks:  “Go In Light,” “Dangerous Game,” “Better off High,” “Only Child”
Artists You May Like: Nathaniel Rateliff, Big Red Machine, Roo Panes

Last week, Marcus Mumford, frontman of iconic folk act Mumford & Sons, released his debut album. It is a genre-bending piece of work that is both unconventional and nostalgic at the same time. Mumford opens his own world, each song telling a story. The honest and confessional nature of this album is something that listeners have not seen from Mumford before. He abandons his typical folksy style while looking for a more whole and authentic sound. On (self-titled), his sound is not shaky or braky; there are no banjoes. With this album, Mumford goes back to his core of being a songwriter first. Listeners embark on an adventure with Mumford as they also engage in their own self-discovery process. 

 Mumford’s s elegant yet soft writing style is something that is noted on tracks “Cannibal” and “Only Child.” Many of the songs on this record discuss Mumford’s inner demons and struggles. The topics that are discussed in some of the songs are very sensitive and will open doors to further trauma in Mumford’s life. “Cannibal” is about Mumford’s battle with being a victim of sexual abuse. In this song, he directly calls out his abuser by calling him out on his behavior: “I can still taste you and I hate it / That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it/You took the first slice of me and you ate it raw/Ripped it in with your teeth and your lips like a cannibal.” Mumford confronts his trauma and knows he can heal and do better for himself. The video for this was shot by none other than Stephen Spielberg on Mumford’s phone. 

The second track, “Grace,” provides a flawless transition between the first and second tracks. It gives Mumford a sense of clarity and grace as he is discovering himself again. The music video for this song is incredibly poignant, allowing listeners to visually witness the suffering that Mumford went through. Throughout the video, Mumford downs glasses of water in a metaphorical and literal attempt of cleansing his body and soul. “Better off High” discusses the desire to fall into patterns of destructive behavior with the use of distorted electric guitar. He collaborates with Phoebe Bridgers, Clairo, Brandi Carlile, and Monica Martin, all of whom added their own special flair to complement Mumford’s own style. Despite Mumford having a really distinct timbre, he is able to nicely blend it with his fellow artists. 

The collaboration that Mumford does with Bridgers on “Stonecutter” with Phoebe Bridgers gives him a jagged indie undertone, which has not been seen in previous songs. “Go In Light,” featuring Monica Martin, adds a sense of harmonic depth through her backup vocals on this song. Each song has a distinct genre, which blurs our own conventional standards of the genre itself. Many of the songs (self-titled) are cinematic, adding to the effect of introspection it is supposed to have. Producer Blake Mills has made room for this depth by extenuating Mumford’s soft and raspy vocals. Each song blends and molds with the other, creating one beautiful story filled with resilience and reclamation. This album is an incredibly cohesive body of work that successfully tells stories of Mumford’s life that were previously hidden. 

You can stream Mumford’s new album on Apple Music and Spotify

Keep up with Mumford here: Instagram 

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