Mumford & Sons may have stumbled onto Stateside success in 2010 with their debut disc, Sigh No More, but in 2011, they not only grew comfortable with their newfound fame, they ran with it. Sigh was the year's best-selling rock album (by a mile), and they nabbed four Grammy nominations — including Record and Song of the Year — for their song "The Cave."
So, as 2011 draws to a close, and as MTV reveals our picks for the Artists of the Year, we're reaching out to a host of acts who not only dominated the past 12 months, but came to define them, for their takes on the year in music. And who better to ask than Mumford, a band that began 2010 as relative unknowns but wrap up 2011 as one of the biggest rock acts in the U.S. ... with a hotly anticipated new album due in 2012.
We spoke to Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett about their favorite artists of the year, and in keeping with their breakout status, they chose a thoroughly under-the-radar act ... and a rapper who busted through to the big time in 2011. Of course, they could only pronounce one of their picks' names correctly.
"Dawes are a really important band for us," Mumford said. "You would say 'Dawes,' because you can differentiate between 'Dawes' and 'Doors' — more like 'Pawn' and 'Porn' — where we can't, it's just 'Porn' and 'Porn' to us, so you never know which one we're talking about."
"I've watched the video for Tyler, the Creator's 'Yonkers' 50 times this year," Lovett added. "It's f---ing amazing. Brilliant video."
They didn't just stop there. They've already picked their favorite act of 2012 too, an up-and-coming Harlem rapper who they expect big things from next year.
"I just heard an incredible song by Azealia Banks called '212,' " Lovett said. "[It's] mind-blowing."