You know you’ve made it when you’re listed with the Beatles. Just this week, Mumford and Sons have seen a smashing success with the release of their new album ‘Babel.’ It’s matched a record set by The Beatles with six songs listed concurrently in the US Billboard Hot 100. Since their album ‘Sigh No More’ received its BRIT Award for best album of 2011, the indie folk group hasn’t stopped playing, touring and producing.
Eager fans waited three years for the new album, hoping the band’s signature sound the world has heard used in various ads and footie promos would remain true to its rock and roll bluegrass style. The reviews have been glowing. The band says it wants to start work on the next album but first they’ll start their ‘Tour of Two Halves’ in November. They’ll play in theatres and stadiums across the UK including the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and Caird Hall in Scotland, the Arena in Manchester, Cardiff International Arena in Wales, Odyssey Arena in Belfast and the O2 in London. Mumford and Sons tickets for the first O2 appearance sold out in a flash and they had to add another show a week later to appease the fans from their old stomping grounds.
The hottest group to emerge out of the West London folk scene didn’t get an immediate break into the business. Multi-instrumentalists Marcus Mumford, Winston Marshal, Ben Lovett and Ten Dwane earned the attention of music business executives but couldn’t get signed until they had a bigger fan base. They toured across the UK and Australia in medium sized venues multiplying their followers at every stop. When they rocked up to record their award-winning album ‘Sigh No More’ legend has it that producer Markus Dravs had to reschedule the session because they didn’t actually own any of the musical instruments they’d been playing on, so they showed up empty handed. After watching them grow for a year, Louis Bloom signed the band and ‘Sigh No More’ was released on his label, Island Records.
An emerging support act for the band, singer-songwriter, Willy Mason, has been busy garnering his own devotees. They both performed at SXSW this summer, and will appear together in multiple cities in Australia this October. This New York based artist infuses notes of progressive, blues, reggae and dubstep into his folk sound. Fellow musician Conor Oberst who signed Mason to his new record label, Team Love, met him backstage at a show. Since then, Mason has performed at bigger and better venues like the Glastonbury Festival, South By Southwest, and the Offshore Ale House, sharing the stage with the likes of Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie and Norah Jones.
The 27 year old will tour the UK this December to share loads of new tracks from ‘Carry On,’ as well many of the old favourites. Willy Mason Tickets are on sale now. He’ll headline at King Tut’s in Glasgow, Ruby Lounge in Manchester, Glee Club in Birmingham and Scala in London.
Mason has said that these last three albums, the 2005 critically acclaimed ‘Where the Humans Eat,’ the 2007 ‘If The Ocean Gets Rough’ and the much anticipated December 3rd release of ‘Carry On’ are part of a personal narrative trilogy. The artist says that this third album has been five years in the making. After two years of touring all over the world, Mason went back home to Martha’s Vineyard to write, regroup and finish the album. Then he flew to London to collaborate with producer Dan Carey who has worked with artists like MIA, Kylie Minogue and Hot Chip. A mutual friend introduced Carey and Mason. The folk singer said that he was inspired and pushed by the partnership and has introduced more rhythm and bass into his music. Fiction Records will release the new album.