The essential Mumford and Sons playlist

If you missed their wave of popularity, take a trip through this essentials listening playlist before the release of the band’s upcoming album, “Delta.”

Chris Baeza, Freelance Writer

With just days to go before the release of their latest album, titled “Delta,” which releases on Nov. 16, it is only appropriate to look back at the short yet impressive discography of popular folk band Mumford and Sons.

Along with the likes of The Avett Brothers, the Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men, Mumford and Sons was essential to bringing folk back to life in our modern music era. Since their formation, Mumford and Sons have released three albums titled, “Sigh No More,” “Babel” and “Wilder Mind.” The first two albums produced a classic folk sound with deeply moving lyrics and impressive instrumental talent from all members of the band. “Wilder Mind” took the band on a new musical journey in which Mumford and Sons dumped their suspenders and bowties for wayfarer sunglasses and vintage jean jackets, moving into the world of electric guitars and synthesizers to create an alternative sound that signaled a new yet polarizing era with their last album. Nevertheless, as we eagerly await the release of the new album, here are 10 top Mumford and Sons songs to get you ready for the release of “Delta.”

10) Roll Away Your Stone

Placing as high as a number 11 on the Billboard charts in 2011, “Roll Away Your Stone” from “Sigh No More” boasts great banjo riffs along with a joyous upbeat tempo that encourages listeners to break out into a jig wherever they might be. This song brings out the playful side of the band’s music while still maintaining their lyrical integrity. Take the middle verse for example; “It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart but the welcome I receive with the restart.”

9) Ghosts That We Knew

Another single that was a little deeper on the Billboard charts at number 13 in 2011, “Ghosts That We Knew” proves to be a polar opposite listening experience compared to the above track. “Ghosts That We Knew” discusses pain from the past and the cry for hope to carry forward. The track aims to trigger a more emotional response from their audience with a slow pace and a moving acoustic melody. Once again, listeners are treated to an  emotional appeal provoked by thought and the ponderance of our own lives.

8) The Wolf

The first song to dawn this list from the band’s third album “Wilder Mind” is “The Wolf.” The modern rock sound and heavy bass riffs create a fun and loud introduction to the band’s updated sound at the time. Like some of their other songs, “The Wolf” is exciting and uptempo, but it is unique in its use of electronic-leaning production. Rather than dancing a jig, listeners may prefer banging their heads at the skittering beats and riffs.

7) Believe

“Believe” peaked on the Billboard charts at number four in 2015. It possesses a mix of the old and new of Mumford with a slow start that creciendos into an intense bridge and final chorus. Heavy drum beats and Marcus Mumford’s domineering voice create a full sound that drown the listeners ears into an electric paradise. Though it features a sound that differentiates from traditional Mumford and Sons songs, “Believe” built a perfect bridge between the old and new.

6) Broken Crown

Though it never cracked the Billboard top 20 in 2012, “Broken Crown” is Mumford and Sons at their most unfettered selves. This song, like many other Mumford classics, contains great deals of emotion and sound. Marcus’ lyrics and the band’s acute instrumental composition bring the listener to a place that reminds one of deep anger and pain. “Broken Crown” has an appeal to true genuine frustration that some more modern folk has decided to avoid in the 21st century.

5) Timshel

Halfway through our list, we are back to another calming yet encouraging song from “Sigh No More.” “Timshel” never charted, but that does not take away from its relevance to the band’s inspired nature. As another lyrical encouragement from Marcus Mumford, “Timshel” reminds listeners that life has its ups and downs but together, with others, we can keep going. Timshel differs itself from other tracks for its minimalist composition. Most of the track includes an acoustic guitar and each voice of the quartet—it is not until the last moments of the song that a banjo can be heard. This lack of instruments makes “Timshel” one of the more unique artistic choices from a band that relies so heavily on deafening boastful production.

4) Lover Of The Light

“Lover Of The Light” peaked the Billboard charts at number 15 in 2012. Another calming and encouraging song from the band, “Lover of the Light” carries themes of love and hope. The song is a nice break from Mumford’s more powerful or dismal sounds that characterize “Babel.” Initially overlooked considering the mass appeal of other songs from the album, “Lover Of The Light” gained more popularity after the band released their music video, which featured British actor Idris Elba.

3) Hopeless Wanderer

Peaking at number nine on the charts in 2013, “Hopeless Wanderer” captivates with uniform harmonies and impressive fluctuations between a slow start and fast-paced finish. Most impressively, Ben Lovett takes center stage at the beginning with a moving piano solo that sets the pace. Banjo player Winston Marshall also gets to show off his impressive skill during the second half of the song with his exciting banjo licks. In the song’s music video, each member is comically replaced by actors Ed Helms, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte to create a funny spoof on the band’s wildly passionate stage performances.

2) Little Lion Man

Topping the Billboard charts at number three in 2011, “Little Lion Man” is the song that started it all. A song that launched Mumford from being a small band in Britain to international stardom, “Little Lion Man” emanates with a catchy melody and hook and displays the talents of each band member displays the talents of each member of the band. “Little Lion Man,” like some other Mumford songs, appeals to the anger inside a human being and brings out themes of regret and disappointment. If you have not heard this song, get out from under your rock and give it a listen.

1) The Cave

Arguably the most popular Mumford and Sons song of all time, “The Cave” topped the Billboard charts at number two on its list in 2010. While “Little Lion Man” piqued the interest of alt-rock listeners, “The Cave” kept them invested. The track is a reintroduction of folk to the then newer generation because of its impressive banjo riffs and classical harmonic unity between each singer. The song is probably still best known for the beginning banjo riff in which Marshall yet again takes center stage with his impressive skill set. This song and “Little Lion Man” set the standard for the wave of popular folk to come.


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