Earlier this month, Mumford & Sons‘ titular leader Marcus Mumford announced his first solo studio album, (self-titled). Today, we’re getting the first official preview of the LP with the new single ‘Grace’.
Mumford is assembling quite the team to help bring (self-titled) to life, including dueting with a few of the biggest folk-adjacent singers in modern popular music like Phoebe Bridgers, Brandi Carlile, and Clairo. For ‘Grace’, Mumford has an equally crack team, with vocalist Danielle Ponder, legendary session bassist Pino Paladino and producer Blake Mills all contributing to the track.
If only ‘Grace’ could live up to that stellar lineup. Instead, Mumford brings his trademark caterwauling to a track that’s mostly limp as a noodle. The stop-start nature of the track means that no groove can be found, and the backwards guitar lines feel cheesy instead of interesting. ‘Grace’ could equally be featured in a mid-2000s butt rock station playlist or a Mazda car commercial.
‘Grace’ isn’t a total whiff, but it certainly doesn’t have enough memorable qualities to elevate it above the anonymous chaff being churned out on a daily basis in music today. ‘Grace’ wouldn’t be a notable track unless it had Mumford’s name attached, which, needless to say, isn’t exactly a good sign for the forthcoming album.
Maybe the next few singles from (self-titled) will be a little more impressive, but for now, all we have to judge the album on is the middling sounds of ‘Grace’. Mumford can howl at the moon all he wants, but he’s going to have to go back to the drawing board and come back with some actual hooks if he wants to get a solid full album together.
Check out the video for ‘Grace’ down below. (self-titled) is set for a September 16th release.