Mumford and Sons on their new album, Delta: 'we just got rid of all boundaries'

Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall talk about the band's shifting sound and their new experimental fourth album, Delta.
(Mumford and Sons/Facebook)

About a decade ago, Mumford and Sons broke into the mainstream in a big way. The folk and bluegrass-inspired band won a Grammy for their second studio album, Babel, and got a lot of people interested in acoustic music again.

But then something changed. Their next album, Wilder Mind, featured fewer banjos and had a different production. Some people wondered if this musical shift was akin to when Bob Dylan went electric in the '60s.

"I can understand how people might ask that question," says Marcus Mumford. "I think we were intentional about doing something different on the third record. … I think we intentionally put in place some boundaries saying, OK, let's try and do this without the lead instruments being acoustic and let's add in a full drum kit."

That's where Mumford and Sons left things off a couple years ago, and fans have been eager to hear what's next. Mumford and bandmate Winston Marshall joined Tom Power to talk about their shifting sound and their new experimental fourth album, Delta.

Related: Mumford and Sons address their photo with Jordan B. Peterson, which made the rounds online this summer.

"On this record, we just got rid of all boundaries within our instrumentation," says Mumford. "Some songs would start on piano being played by someone who doesn't play the piano, in the band, some songs would be started on a drum machine or on a weird synthesizer and no idea was a bad idea. Which meant that at the beginning of the recording process we had this very wide ranging palette of sounds and songs. So in the shaping of that sound we felt very free."

For the band, it means incorporating their acoustic instruments with new sounds for an entirely different approach to music, which you can hear on their lead single, Guiding Light, below. "I feel like we're the best version of ourselves right now."

Delta is out Friday, November 16. 

Listen to the full conversation with Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall of Mumford and Sons near the top of this page.

Produced by Saroja Coelho

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