It's time to imagine Mumford & Sons without a kick drum and banjo.
The English folk-rock quartet has returned from its post-2013 Grammy hiatus to announce its third LP, "Wilder Mind." The album will be out May 4 on its longtime label, Glassnote.
"Wilder Mind" could be a significant break from the band's traditional folk style, which was driven by a melange of acoustic instruments and a 4/4 kick drum stomp.
"Towards the end of the 'Babel' tour, we'd always play new songs during sound checks, and none of them featured the banjo, or a kick-drum," singer Marcus Mumford said in a statement. "We didn't say: 'No acoustic instruments.' But I think all of us had this desire to shake it up. The songwriting hasn't changed drastically; it was led more by a desire to not do the same thing again."
Mumford & Sons without banjo or kick drum? That's like Snoop Dogg without weed or David Lee Roth without Jack Daniels.
But if EDM can accommodate Mumford-style folk, then the quartet can probably find plenty of modern ways to expand its palette. The band worked with a number of acclaimed indie-rock producers, including James Ford (the Simian Mobile Disco member who has worked with Haim and Arctic Monkeys) and The National's Aaron Dessner. The album also has a distinct New York undertone, with song titles including "Tompkins Square Park" and "Ditmas" that reflect the surroundings where they wrote much of the record.
This is the band's first LP after its 2013 Grammy win for album of the year, for "Babel."