Song of the week – Only Love

Only Love – Mumford and Sons

This week I’ve been checking out Mumford and Sons new album Wilder Mind. 

I’ve always been a fan of these guys. Their folk-belters like Awake My Soul, I Will Wait and Little Lion Man are songs which will always stand out for me as some of the best banjo-strumming, foot-stomping tracks we’ve heard in recent years. But like many, I also began to struggled with the same-same sound the guys were producing in every track on their first two albums. I eagerly went to their concert in 2012 only to leave feeling a little disappointed – I was overwhelmed by how much the songs blended together as one, yet, I had hope. I could tell Marcus and his bandmates had more to them, they weren’t going to be one-trick ponies, because they had more talent than they were showcasing. Wilder Mind is the album that proves that.

The range of songs on this album is impressive, the band have worked hard to produce something new and fresh and they’ve done that. It’s a bit of an experiment record, there are a few different routes they’ve gone down. Some songs showcase qualities of Radiohead, others have a riffs you’d expect to hear on a Coldplay track. My pick of the bunch from a few quick listens, is Only Love.

The track starts slowly with the male harmonies we all know and love, the type that really make your hairs stand up. I’m immediately caught up, the lyrics are the kind that make you stop, listen and think:

“And I hunger and I thirst
For some shiver
For some whispered words
And the promise to come”

But don’t fret, Only Love isn’t a depressing ballad. It may start slowly but this song is magic in the way it reaches a point where it just erupts! There isn’t much warning for the loud, invasive and energetic invasion of electric guitars that burst out in the middle of the song. It is magic.

This is the kind of song I needed to hear from Mumford and Sons, this is the song I want to see them play in concert.

Only Love marks a new direction for this band and I think it’s a good move.

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Song of the Week – Someone Will

Rhob Cunningham
Rhob Cunningham

Someone Will – Rhob Cunningham

I’ve got another thing to thank James Vincent McMorrow for and that’s introducing me to his friend, Irish musician Rhob Cunningham. This guy is a very talented chap!

A quick google search tells me Mr Cunningham hails from Dublin and currently lives in Berlin, he’s just written a new album called The Window and Day. To put it simply, it’s just lovely.

McMorrow recommended on his Facebook page to check out his song Someone Will because it’s his favourite on the record and makes him “cry every time”. After one listen I can see why. What a stimulating, heart felt accoustic ballad this is.

The song bursts right into two lines of high falsetto which is quickly contrasted by a lower, softer and folky vocal from Cunningham. Right from the get go you know what you’re going to get in the song and I love that. The choruses return to that same high pitched tone and even though it is such a simple transition it works as a stunning difference to the more subtle verses.

Cunningham is backed only by an accoustic guitar and soft use of a double bass and flute. His vocals are so simple sometimes they sound like he’s almost talking, but that’s a quality I love. During the verses his voice reminds me of Marcus Mumford but not as raw, while the chorus echoes the popular sound of his mate Mr McMorrow and other artists who dominate the falsetto sound like Justin Vernon.

His cause was also helped when a quick google of Rhob Cunningham lead me to his personality-filled website. This guy sounds like an hilarious man who I’d love to meet. Take his online bio for example:

“third person paragraph*

*he’s sorry that he hasn’t updated his bio recently.

rhob is a musician,
you could say he was from dublin

He’s happy with
the songs he writes,
though some aren’t rightly
happy songs.

He’s pretty darned proud of the Our Little Secrets album and he’s looking forward to releasing that there oft whispered solo album.

If he could go back in time he would tell his teenage self to look after his teeth
’cause this one at the back is a goner now.”

Comic genius right?

This song is going to be on regular repeat for me along with the rest of his album. What a discovery!

You can listen to his offerings on the Soundcloud link below or purchase the record on Bandcamp. Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/#rhobcunningham/someone-will