The banjo-heavy, acoustic sound that made them famous—and kicked off an Americana revival—has been replaced on Mumford & Sons third album, Wilder Mind. In a conversation with Rolling Stone frontman Marcus Mumford detailed the new direction, “We felt that doing the same thing, or the same instrumentation again, just wasn’t for us,” adding that none of them had much interest in producing a Babel 2 for the world to chew on.
And if changing from a folk-rock outfit to a U2-sort-of-arena-sized-rock outfit weren’t enough, the lyrics have undergone a makeover as well. While Mumford wrote the last two albums, this one is a more collaborative effort: “The boys kept coming up with a bunch of amazing lyrics that I found really fun to sing… It was quite a liberating experience—really relishing singing someone else’s lyrics.”
Produced by James Ford (who has also worked with Arctic Monkeys and Haim), Wilder Mind is out May 4.