Folk-rock band Mumford & Sons is preparing to drop their long-awaited third album Wilder Mind on May 4. It’s projected to sell in the hundreds of thousands, and its four pre-release singles have been well-received, including “Believe,” which topped the alternative radio charts.
If the hype is getting you into the band for the first time, or if you only know their hits “Little Lion Man” and “I Will Wait,” then don’t fret: we’ve compiled the five Mumford & Sons songs you need to hear before Wilder Mind comes out. Check them out and give them a listen below:
Listen to this playlist on Spotify.
1. Sigh No More
The triple-platinum Sigh No More opens with the title track, a gently-rising and gloriously optimistic song that sets the album’s overarching theme of hope in the face of adversity: “Love will not betray you, dismay, or enslave you,” the narrator promises in the song’s poetic final moments.
2. White Blank Page
Slightly less subtle is the build on “White Blank Page,” an emotionally-dynamic piece, and possibly the album’s darkest. The guitar and mandolin form a catchy backdrop to what begins as a pleasant melody, but soon becomes “a swelling rage.”
3. After the Storm
The final track on Sigh No More is an exceedingly appropriate coda: “There will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.” It’s a lovely “anything is possible; you can do this” ballad and a worthy ending to one of the decade’s best albums. It lacks the band’s typical instrumental breakdown, taking a more understated approach to conveying its message.
4. Below My Feet
“Below My Feet” is often overlooked, but it could be argued as the best track on Album of the Year winner Babel, Mumford & Sons’ double-platinum sophomore album. The plucked riff and ever-growing chorus are its greatest strengths. This is one you’ll want to learn all the words to and sing along.
5. The Boxer (feat. Jerry Douglas and Paul Simon)
It feels wrong to include a cover when the band’s written so many incredible songs, but this bonus track from Babel is too stunning to ignore. The pain in Mumford’s voice, the way he toys with the melody, and, of course, the three-part harmony on the famous “Li-li-li” chorus make this an especially memorable cover, and perhaps an improvement on Simon & Garfunkel’s masterpiece.
Wilder Mind drops May 4. Four of its tracks are available now on all digital retailers.