Marcus Mumford says there is no group separation; First song with Brandi Carlile

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News of an upcoming solo album by Marcus Mumford began leaking last week, which countless radio stations and websites around the world immediately assumed meant his former gang was going their separate ways. Mumford made it twofold official — yes, his solo record is coming, and no, Mumford and Sons aren’t breaking up — and offered a taste of the new project as he sat down with Brandi Carlile on Friday at the Greek Los Angeles Theater.

During the encore portion of Carlile’s first of two sold-out concerts at The Greek, the two sang a powerful, collaborative new ballad (the title of which has not been announced) which Mumford says will be the closing track of his solo album, publicly confirming a hitherto secret project that has been the subject of much speculation over the past week.

Said Carlile as he brought out his special guest, “He’s someone I consider to have become my kindred spirit, and he makes a really brave and spectacular piece of music that we’re really honored to share with you for the first time. Please welcome, the one and only Marcus Mumford.

“I openly cried four times tonight…” Mumford said shortly after taking center stage.

“Same,” said Carlile.

“…mainly,” Mumford continued, “because of the impact my friend Brandi has had on my life since we became friends quite a long time ago. And I was in the process of making a record – with the full blessing and permission of the band I’m still in,” he said, pointedly, to applause. “She heard a few songs and put her arm around me and said, ‘I gonna help you do whatever you need to do to finish this. And so we went into the studio the next day and wrote and recorded this song, which is the last song on the record. (Check out the video taken by a fan of the issue below.)

The song they created has Mumford singing the first four lines alone before being joined by Carlile in equal harmony for the rest of the song, with a particularly dramatic octave leap that goes back and forth, a staple of some of the Carlile’s most endearing ballads. The austere lyrics speak of the forgiveness that becomes necessary after a bitter separation: “I hope your memory is less vivid than mine” and free from “dreadful light”, they sing. “I have to say, I always wish you had done it in the dark, so the pictures wouldn’t shine so brightly. … I forgive you now, as if saying the words would help me know how.

On the lighter side, Mumford appeared to be embarking on another new career: as Carlile’s merch pitchman. The former and seemingly future frontman of Mumford and Sons stepped out onto the Greek stage draped in one of the blankets that were on sale at the sales stand, and did all the selling work. “I just want to say this is the best $75 I’ve ever spent in my life,” he told the crowd, holding up the blanket. “And it was so easy. I paid with my phone…I’m just saying.

Variety confirmed with sources earlier this week that there were no plans for Mumford and Sons to split up – a conclusion many seemed to have jumped to just for lack of recollection of a time when rock singers were making solo albums outside of their groups without actually leaving. It is understood that Mumford began the process of writing his album with the intention of writing songs for the band, before determining that at least some of the new compositions were original enough to merit recording and release. under a solo banner.

The existence of the album was first revealed when he reportedly performed some of the material at an intimate Spotify party held at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on the French Riviera Monday. Mumford’s stay in France was apparently short-lived, as he was reportedly in the United States mid-week to privately play some of the tracks for a few people in Los Angeles. It is believed that any official announcement of an album, single or label can still take weeks. But his appearance with Carlile Friday indicates he’s not too keen on keeping it completely secret anymore — or at least not if that would have meant giving up the chance to publicly mix vocals with Brandi.

Variety will post a full review of Carlile’s first night at the Greek, who also joined her on stage opening the Lucius act, later.

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