Although singer/guitarist Marcus Mumford was born in America he moved back to the UK with his English family when he was just six months old. It was while attending Wimbledon's Kings College School that he first met multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett, and after spending a year at the University of Edinburgh he dropped out and returned to London where he joined singer/songwriter Laura Marling as her drummer. Having written most of the tracks for what would become their debut album, while in Scotland Mumford signed with Marling's manager and recruited Lovett plus Winston Marshall and Ted Dwayne both of whom he'd known for some time. With a shared love of roots music and particularly Americana and folk, the band's sound came together while on the road during 2008 which included an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival. After issuing two self-financed independent EP's Mumford & Sons and Love Your Ground they signed a licensing deal with Island Records who released the single 'Little Lion Man' in August 2009 and their debut album Sigh No More a couple of months later. The album was an immediate success, topping the charts in Australia and New Zealand and peaking at No 2 in the UK and the USA. With worldwide sales in excess of three million copies the record yielded the singles 'Winter Winds', 'Roll Away Your Stone' and 'The Cave' although only the latter was a significant hit (No 32 and No 27 in the UK and the USA respectively.) The band went out on tour as support to their friend Laura Marling and Mumford, Marshall and Dwayne all featured on her 2010 album I Speak Because I Can. Mumford & Sons were also invited to contribute to the Ray Davies collaborations album See My Friends on which they performed 'Days'/'This Time Tomorrow' with the Kinks leader. Another project found them teaming-up again with Marling plus Rajasthani musicians the Dharohar Project playing in both Delhi and London and resulting in the EP Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling & Dharohar Project.
While touring throughout North America and the UK (including another Glastonbury appearance) during 2011 the band began writing, road testing and recording their second album which was finally released in September 2012. Once again produced by Markus Dravs (Coldplay, Björk, Arcade Fire), Babel contained twelve original tracks although the fifteen track deluxe edition also included a version of Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Boxer' which was credited to top Nashville session player Jerry Douglas featuring Mumford & Sons and Paul Simon himself. The album topped the charts in eight countries including Canada, the USA and the UK where it debuted at No 1. The lead single 'I Will Wait' reached No 12 in both the UK and the States although subsequent singles 'Lover Of The Light', 'Whispers In The Dark', 'Hopeless Wanderer' and 'Babel' itself all failed to enter the Top 40 on either side of the Atlantic. Following the release of the live album Road To Red Rocks in November 2012 the band began their world tour although they were forced to cancel dates in June 2013 when Ted Dwayne was found to be suffering from a blood clot on the brain and had to undergo surgery to remove it. The band had been on a rollercoaster ride since the release of their debut album in 2009 and in September 2013 they let it be known they would be taking an extended break.
Apart from working with Laura Marling and Ray Davies, Mumford & Sons have contributed to recordings by a number of other artists including Simone Felice ('You & I Belong'), King Charles ('The Brightest Lights') and a collaboration with Birdy on the song 'Learn Me Right' from the soundtrack to the 2012 Pixar/Disney animated movie Brave. The band have been honoured with numerous awards including two BRIT Awards for Best British Group and British Album Of The Year (for Sign No More), two Grammy Awards for Album Of The Year (for Babel) and Best Long Form Music Video (for Big Easy Express), a Canadian Juno Award for International Album Of The Year, an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement, an Australian ARIA Music Award for Favorite Alternative Rock Artist, a German ECHO Award for International Pop/Rock Group, a Q Award for Best New Act and three Billboard Awards for Top Alternative Artist, Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album (the latter two for Sign No More.) While their catalogue presently only includes two studio albums Mumford & Sons have already proved to be a hugely popular band around the World and despite all four members being British their music is a rootsy blend of styles that could easily have originated from almost any English speaking country.
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