Arts & Culture / Mosaic / April 22, 2015

Music News: Three bands with anticipated new material

Graphic by Griffin Belzer/TKS

Graphic by Griffin Belzer/TKS

What do the bands Alabama Shakes, Mumford & Sons and Stornoway have in common? They are all releasing albums sometime soon. And that’s about where the similarities end. Here is a little preview on what to expect from the bands’ new releases based on what the band members and lucky previewers have to say.

Alabama Shakes

“We are on to something really different here,” says lead singer Brittany Howard about Alabama Shake’s upcoming album, Sound & Color. In her interview on NPR’s All Things Considered, Howard talks about the band’s experiments with different sounds, “When we used to get together and write songs, it was over a lot of different genres. And it wasn’t like we were exercising genres. It was just fun. I like all kinds of music, and nobody ever told me you gotta pick one, so I never did.” If the singles that the band has already released are any indication, Alabama Shakes may have changed their sound but they didn’t lose an ounce of the energy found on their first album, Boys & Girls. Howard’s experiments with different and often strange timbres in the singles lead to a unique and raw sound that will be sure to appear in the upcoming album.

Mumford & Sons

The popular British folk band seems to be progressing from their folk roots to a rocky and electric set for their new album “Wilder Mind,” to be released the fourth of May. The band has ditched the banjo and added a drum kit and electric guitar to mark their divergence from the world of folk. Perhaps the only thing that remains as a remnant of the past two albums so far, as can be heard in the three singles released, is their signature four part harmonies. However, the band uses these even far more sparsely than in the past. With Noah and The Whale, their contemporary nu-folkers, as an example, Mumford and Sons looks like they will be trying their hand at a pop-ier sound. “We felt that doing the same thing, or the same instrumentation again, just wasn’t for us,” said frontman Marcus Mumford to Rolling Stone Magazine. “We’ve got a broader taste in music than just that.” “None of us had really any interest in doing a sort of Babel 2. It was always going to be different,” added bassist Ted Dwayne.


Stornoway hasn’t quite made the big time in America yet, but who knows what will happen with this new album, titled Bonxie, already released in Britain but waiting for its debut in the United States. The songs were produced by Pixies producer Gil Norton and have a strong baroque pop sound. Similar to their past albums, the lyrics are a bundle of whimsy, intelligence and poetry all packed in a charming, cohesive whole. If any of that sounds interesting, the physical album is available for purchase on the band’s website—unfortunately, there is no set date for when itunes and other American digital music providers will release the new album.

Tom Grizzle

Tags:  acts folk guitars instruments music news popular rock

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