It’s only fit that “I Will Wait,” the first single off of Mumford & Sons long-awaited Babel come accompanied by a video of the road, passing endlessly behind. The British bluegrass band have come a long way since their days as VH1 You Oughta Know artists, topping charts and rounding the world on seemingly endless tour. And instead of just logging the miles, they put them to work, mining the distance for inspiration and road-testing new material all along the way. As bassist Ted Dwane told Rolling Stone recently, “Being away so much for the last couple of years is inevitably a theme on the record;” and as frontman Ben Lovett explained to Spin, “touring so much and playing so many different kinds of places, especially big ones, affected how we hear ourselves as a band.” And so they return, all the better for the work and wait.
This heartbroken first taste of their new album, a swelling tale of love put on hold, just how worthwhile the wait was. Driven by banjos and punctuated by the the sort of stomping chorus they’re so famous for, “I Will Wait” grows and grows, and then grows and bigger still to fill the venues they regularly fill, before getting quiet so that Lovett can promise, “I will be home, as well as strong strong/And use my head alongside my heart.” The wait, it will be worth it.
Babel hits shelves September 25th.