Five years ago, on the 24th September 2012, Mumford and Sons released their second album; Babel.
The follow up to their 2009 debut, Sigh No More, Babel was the streamlined successor to the album that introduced them to the world. Happily still employing banjos, acoustic guitars, fiddles and the like, the auditory embodiment of a rustic Pinterest wedding sold a massive 573,000 copies in the UK by that year’s end and debuted at No.1 on both the UK charts and the US Billboard 200.
In the US, it was the second highest debut of the year, only beaten by Taylor Swift’s Red. Preceded by the late summer release of lead single ‘I Will Wait’ on 7th August, Babel would go on to spawn four more singles and cement the band as the UK’s figurehead for an indie folk revival (icons of which also included bands such as US natives The Lumineers).
The album was a perfect balance of rousing (‘Lover of the Light’, ‘Holland Road’) and the reflective (‘Ghosts That We Knew’, ‘Below My Feet’), with frontman Marcus Mumford’s at times obscure lyrics never hiding the infectious tunes supporting them. One of the stand outs, however, was not a single but the just over two minute long ‘Reminder’, a simple, heartfelt track written by bandmate Ted Dwane which details a breaking down relationship.
Emotion has never been something Mumford have lacked, exemplified in their live show and somewhat distilled onto their records. Eventually going on to win a Grammy for Album of the Year, Babel remains the last of Mumford’s acoustic beginnings, with the band plugging in for 2015’s Wilder Mind. Should you ever want a return to the tweed waistcoat, hay bales, running free under summer skies aesthetic however, start here.
Listen to the iconic track, ‘I will wait’ below and remind yourself of the album: