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The History of Mumford and Sons

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Formed in London, England in 2007, Mumford and Sons started off playing in and around West London’s folk community. They dropped their debut studio album “Sigh No More” in 2009 to critical success in the UK. This prompted them to release it in the U.S. the next year, where it reached Billboard’s top five and earned Grammy nominations. Following collaborations and touring, Mumford and Sons dropped “Babel” in 2012, which went to number one in the U.S. and the UK. In this video, takes a look at the musical origins of Mumford and Sons.

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They will wait for you. Welcome to, and today we’re taking a look at the musical origins of Mumford and Sons.


Folk rock band Mumford and Sons formed in London, England in 2007. With Marcus Mumford, Winston Marshall, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane all playing multiple instruments, the band began by performing in and around the area.

Touring and First EPs

After making a name for themselves in the West London folk community, they embarked on a tour of the UK and played the Glastonbury Festival in 2008. They also spent time writing and recording songs and released their first EPs through Chess Club Records that same year.

Making Music

While continuing to play gigs, Mumford and Sons kept making music in 2009. They also teamed up with producer Markus Dravs to record their first full-length disc. In an effort to remain a creative force behind their work, Mumford and Sons funded the production of the album themselves.

UK Debut

Soon, they were signed to Island Records, which released the band’s debut, Sigh No More, in the UK. The indie and folk rock effort debuted within the top twenty of the UK charts and eventually reached the second spot. It received positive reviews from critics and won the band a BRIT Award in 2011. The album also yielded their first top forty UK single: “Little Lion Man.”

U.S. Debut

Mumford and Sons duplicated this success in North America after Glassnote Records released the album in 2010: Sigh No More earned the band their first top forty U.S. single with “The Cave,” and ultimately peaked at the Billboard 200 chart’s second position. Aside from allowing them to make their first appearances on American television, the record also earned the band two Grammy nominations and sold over a million copies.


That same year, the band collaborated with acts like Laura Marling and the Dharohar Project, while also bringing their folk and roots-inspired tunes to the masses.

Movie Music and Touring

In early 2011, they began writing new songs together in Nashville, Tennessee. This was followed by more touring and a return to London to record music for the soundtrack to the British drama, “Wuthering Heights.” The band also spent time in the studio with Dravs and honed their performance skills by playing some of their new tracks on the road.

Disney’s “Brave”

Next, Mumford and Sons and British musician Birdy recorded a song for the soundtrack of the 2012 computer animated film “Brave.”

Sophomore Effort

And, later that year, they released their sophomore effort, Babel. While the highly anticipated album mostly followed the same musical vein as their previous effort, it was also more mature and personal in nature. It bested Sigh No More’s initial chart showing by topping both the UK and U.S. charts within its first week of release.


Babel’s lead single was the country-tinged indie folk track, “I Will Wait,” which charted within the Billboard Hot 100’s top forty. Its second single “Lover of the Light” was accompanied by a music video featuring actor Idris Elba.


The record was supported with a spirited appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and a world tour that continued into 2013.


Their fusion of bluegrass, folk and roots music and powerful shows have helped Mumford and Sons go beyond the alternative rock scene to capture the ears of all kinds of music lovers. Their music is certainly much more than “whispers in the dark” – and they’ve got the sales numbers, critical reviews and awards to prove it.

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