Mumford & Sons recently told MTV News that they’re “still recording” the follow-up to their breakthrough Sigh No More album, which, while certainly understandable (given their schedule), is also rather unbelievable — especially since they’ve been working on the new spate of songs almost as long as they’ve been on tour.
“Most of them, we’re letting people hear as we’ve played live shows. We’ve kind of always just done that,” frontman Marcus Mumford explained. “We’ve kind of written a song and felt like we get it up to a point where it’s ready to play live, and then we go … and road test it, see how it goes. For us, we find that’s a really helpful way of writing, and performing the song ideas that we have live is a crucial part, for us, of the songwriting process.”
And that’s especially true of “Ghosts,” a new song the band officially unveiled last month during a Philadelphia radio station appearance. Though they’ve been working it into their live sets, the tune only took on its current — and, apparently, finished — form after performing it to audiences and tinkering with it afterward.
“It’s probably the newest one we’ve been playing live, actually; that one came together really on our Canadian tour about a month ago, the first time started playing it,” multi-instrumentalist Winston Marshall said. “We tried recording it before, but it then took on a new life when we played it on that tour. … [The songs] always change when we play them live; the dynamics change a lot. When you play it to a new room, you’re playing it to new ears, and you’re listening to the song through their ears. So it’s really great to feel the song out.”
And though it’s a new addition to their set, Mumford already count “Ghosts” among their favorites — if only for the fact that it actually gives them a chance to catch their collective breath.
“It’s fun to play … it’s a kind of respite for us to just stand back and play a slower song,” Mumford said with a laugh. “It’s nice: gives us a moment to take stock.”
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