Mumford & Sons lead singer Marcus Mumford says the 12-time Grammy-nominated outfit will explore the electronic side of music on their next album, telling Style magazine (via NME) that the band will do "whatever feels soulful."
That would mark a significant shift for the group. Mumford & Sons is known for a feel-good blend of folk and rock. Pop music has fallen victim to the explosion of electronic dance music in America, with everyone from Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber to Usher and Rihanna going all-in on big, booming synth lines and breakdowns.
While it's unclear and, perhaps, unlikely that Mumford & Sons would so dramatically change their style, Mumford's quote has been met with some skepticism online. In a Christmas Day post on Ology.com, one critic had this to say of the possible addition of synthesizers:
Yes, the dreaded s-word. The sane, rational part of my brain says Mumford is just using the threat of "going electronic" as an example to demonstrate that they won't simply rest on their laurels of being "that folk band" forever… but the other part of my brain, the one that's watched too many good bands lose their heart and soul behind a Mini Moog, has a real bad feeling about this.
The debate over "going electronic" is decades old -- Bob Dylan was ostracized in the mid-'60s for releasing music and performing with an "electric" band. For what it's worth, that dust-up seems to have been settled in Dylan's favor: The 71-year-old singer has put out over 30 studio albums, including this year's "Tempest," which landed near the top on many a critic's year-end lists.
Mumford & Sons's Ben Lovett seems ready to take a similar risk. "It's dangerous for us to talk about what we've been discussing for the third album, but we do have greater ambitions not to just stay within certain sonic confines," he told Style. "We're not going to be the band that stands for folk music or organic music."
"Babel," the band's latest effort, buoyed the band to six 2013 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year.