After a bold move much closer to rock with their album ‘Wilder Mind’, the new kid on the block ‘Delta’, firmly takes Mumford & Sons a step back closer to their folk roots, whilst also a step towards a new era of the band.
Mumford have had a difficult week. After having to cancel four of their UK tour dates and reschedule due to technical difficulties, the week following their new release has been unlucky. However, one thing they do not need to add to their list of misfortunes is a disappointing fourth album.
Opener ‘42’ sets the pace perfectly with gorgeous harmonies and strong, throbbing build up to a closing breakdown which sounds absolutely huge. Followed seamlessly by ‘Guiding Light’, we meet the folky Mumford again with a track which sounds like it may have just missed the cut for ‘Babel’. ‘Beloved’ is another star, beginning with a simple acoustic backdrop which blossoms into yet another atmospheric crescendo, showcasing Marcus Mumford’s famous vocal and lyricism with refinement.
What’s especially striking about this album is where it fits.
‘Slip Away’s rhythm section has an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. Lifted through the use of effects, we can see the bands conscious modern movement which couldn’t be further away from ‘Sigh No More’. Additionally, ‘Rose of Sharon’s electronic-laced intro sounds like something we may expect to hear from the 1975’s, ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’, next week. ‘Darkness Visible’ has a spoken section which uses keys and strings to build one of their heavier tracks, which sounds like a pre-packaged theme for a superhero movie.
‘The Wild’ is incredibly strong. With an orchestral backdrop which lends itself to an incredibly striking close, we are reminded of the clever minds behind Mumford & Sons. One thing which is undeniable about this album is how every detail is meticulously thought through and considered. The choice of the eponymous ‘Delta’ for the albums close is no coincidence. The cathartic track not only showcases all of the new traits to the band we meet in the album, but bowed out leaving me wanting more.
This album has been subject to a fair amount of criticism, which I quite blatantly do not understand. This is a new era of Mumford & Sons and I am an instant convert. Their identity remains through their consistent creative allusions to their folk roots in pretty much every single track, and quite obviously the mind-blowing vocals. However, I like where Mumford took me and where they appear to be going.
‘Delta’ has momentum, heart and soul, and for me is one of the best albums I had the privilege to meet in 2018.