Listen Up! Johannesburg. Album Review.


Does anyone else get a sense of excitement when a band appear on the radio or spotify after a dormant period?

Imagine this, I'm sitting in front of my mirror concentrating on my winged eyeliner (not triangles on the side of my face, as my nana calls them, wings) and I hear a familiar voice come from my laptop. Eyeliner comes to a halt. It can very much wait.

That raspy voice and slow build up of instruments and vocals mean one thing. Mumford and Sons are back. I leap to my desk to confirm. I see their name on the charts playlist. Yes. Mumford are back. With only 5 songs to the Johannesburg mini album, the British band capture the essences of Africa with various collaborations, while keeping their distinctive rustic, folksy sound.




What I love about it is the clear inspirations that flow through the tracks, just after their tour in South Africa.  Wona has the sounds of African tribes and as they describe as "otherworldly" which is what, I think, music should be, driven by life experience and surroundings. I'm lying in bed, picturing the band in a back of safari truck, scenes of the beloved The Lion King flash before me as the African language pours into my ears and the percussion gives it body.


The mini album holds the journey that Mumford has been on; from small folk gigs in London to their world wide recognition, focusing on them in the African sun and the people they have met on they way. From NME, Marcus Mumford explained, "The whole thing came together because of Johan [Hugo, The Very Best] really - and actually they had acted like sonic trailblazers in a lot of ways - marrying afrobeat rhythms, Esau and Baaba's voices and languages, over Western songwriting."


Mumford and Sons are no strangers to experimenting with different sounds. Their last album received mixed reviews from their Sigh No More loyal lovers, as they took a more electronic slant and packed up the distinctive banjo for a short time. In an interview with the Rolling Stones, bassist Ted Dwane expressed their love for exploring new ways to create music and that they will continue to do it. He goes on to say that as a band, they will never go backwards, only forwards in their musical endeavors




Personally, I love when you can hear progression through albums and cannot wait to hear what is next for the 4 men from London.