The first salvo from Mumford & Sons' forthcoming album "Wilder Mind" arrived Monday, the new single "Believe" largely abandoning the acoustic guitars, mandolins and banjos that had defined the group's sound to date as the British neo-folk outfit enters the 21st century with electric guitars and synthesizers blazing.
Marcus Mumford recently has said the group didn't want to repeat itself forever, and it's evident in "Believe" that the band is opening up new sonic territory, which Mumford says he considers to be "a development, not a departure."
"Believe" is an emotionally yearning, rhythmically propulsive synth-drenched number that puts it closer to the camp of such British brethren as Coldplay and Snow Patrol.
Lyrically, the song echoes the musical changes, the singer questioning assumptions and the status quo—questions that could as easily be directed toward a romantic partner, a record company executive or a political leader.
I'm climbing over something
And I'm running through these walls
I don't even know if I believe
Everything you're trying to say to me
"Wilder Mind" is slated for release May 4, and is produced by James Ford, who has worked with Arctic Monkeys, HAIM and Florence & the Machine, among others.
Mumford & Sons have announced a summer round of its Stopover Festivals tour, which the group describes as "a music festival that celebrates local people, food and culture, where everyone pitches in and everybody gets something back.
The U.S. dates so far are June 5-6 in Seaside Heights, N.J.; June 19-20 in Waverly, Iowa; Aug. 14-15 in Walla Wall, Wash.; and Aug. 21-22 in Salida, Colo. Ticket information is available at the group's Gentlemen of the Road website.