The Lumineers played a show at Mohegan Sun last week to a capacity crowd.
The folk rock band has gained quite a following since the release of their self-titled debut in 2012. That album was propelled by super hit “Ho Hey” which could be heard not only on every radio station but also at every single Starbucks.
Not happy with being a one-hit wonder, they released their follow up last year and again had big success with both the first single, Ophelia, and current number 1 alternative hit, Cleopatra. That one has 17 million youtube views which, to this writer, seems like a lot.
But the Lumineers, and their brethren Of Monsters and Men, Vance Joy and many others, would still be playing for free at organic free trade coffee shops in Brooklyn if it wasn’t for Mumford and Sons.
Mumford and Sons showed up at the end of the indie revival of the 00s lead by the Killers, Death Cab, Modest Mouse, etc. They were different than those bands as they didn’t pay homage to the 80s and 90s but instead harkened back to an even earlier time where banjos were a thing.
Their album, Sigh No More, dominated 2010 selling 3 million copies which is very impressive for both a rock band and truly anyone in this decade. Both Little Lion Man and the Cave were Top 5 Alt Rock hits and all of a sudden guys in pork pie hats came out of the subways and into the mainstream.
2012’s Babel was even bigger. “I Will Wait” was a Top 15 pop hit and the band jumped to arenas and headlining festivals. This created a giant ripple effect in alternative music as everyone all of a sudden was the “next Mumford”. There has been no sound this decade, in rock and alternative music, that has dominated more than this.
It is bigger than garage (2002 – 2004), fake joy division (2004 – 2006), ska (1996-1998), and swing which was popular for 7 minutes in 1997.
This is the biggest musical movement in rock since, perhaps, rap rock (sorry) or emo of the early 2000s. You could even argue that “indie folk rock” is as big in rock as grunge was in the early 90s. Certainly the sound doesn’t have the mainstream appeal of grunge but it’s influence and longevity is equal.
Sadly for Mumford and Sons no one cared about their third album released two years ago but their sound is truly everywhere you turn. So congrats Mumford, you are the most important rock band of this decade.