The Ubiquitous Mumford

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Jeremy Armstrong

For better or worse, the Mumford & Sons sound has made its way into your service of worship. Here are the top Mumford-esque worship songs.  

It’s no secret that Mumford & Sons has influenced music in the service of worship in this country. On a cultural level, we have been smitten by the driving beat of the kick drum and the possibility of a banjo at every turn. And despite some a couple of explicit lyrics, most likely a good number of the people in your congregation have bought their records and know all their songs. Let’s be honest here, you probably have as well. It’s because as a forebear of American bluegrass, the English folk style quite familiar to us. Plus the lyrics to their soaring melodies ascend above the mundane. Their songs are about healing for friends, making the world a better place, and yes, even connecting with their understanding of the Maker (not too surprising that Marcus Mumford is the son of Vineyard directors for the UK and Ireland).

For these reasons and more, their style has been appropriated by worship artists everywhere. We receive a lot of music here at the WL offices, and where it was once a cool and interesting thing to hear a little banjo tucked away in the corner of a song, it has now become so common that we are surprised when the English folk style doesn’t at least grace one or two of the tracks on a new worship release. With that in mind, we thought we should just go with the flow … at least this movement toward a new style is … movement. And we all know how rare that is in the worship genre. So here are our top 10 Mumford-esque songs for you to use in a service of worship. The best thing about this? These songs are celebrations! They are perfect as send outs or as response songs to the good news. 

10.  “Washed Over Me” All Things New, All Things New

9. “Mountaintop,” City Harmonic

8. “This I Know,” David Crowder*Band, All This for a King: the Essential Collection

7. “Let Hope In,” Daniel Bashta, The Invisible

6. “This Is What You Do,” Bethel Music, The Loft Sessions

5. “Oh How I Need You” All Sons and Daughters, All Sons & Daughters: Live

4. “Captured,” The Digital Age, Evening:Morning

3. “Skeleton Bones,” John Mark McMillan, The Medicine

2. “My Soul Longs” the Neverclaim
Not on Spotify, listen here.

 1. “Build Your Kingdom Here,” Rend Collective Experiment, Campfire

 

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    6 comments on “The Ubiquitous Mumford

    1. Pingback: The Best Of The Mumfordesque | Worship Links

    2. I followed this link thinking that perhaps Mumford is releasing a worship album (not that some of their songs aren’t already there…) But this is a little disappointing. First, every artist stands on his/her/their own and casting one in the strong light of another is an unnecessary homogenization. Second, I find a great disparity between the simplicity of the lyrics of most of these (save All Sons & Daughters, Rend, and perhaps our friend McMillan) and that of Mumford, and otherwise, the sweetness and polish of the recording sets most of these apart from the raw roots sound present in most of Mumford’s efforts. In other words, I find more that is dissimilar than not.

    3. Pingback: My Five Favorite Frontman and What I Have Learned From Them (Marcus Mumford)

    4. Check your facts. I’m pretty McMillan’s Skeleton Bones came out before Mumford hit the scene. It’s also a much more creative some than so many rip-offs.

      By the way, you forgot the worst offender, Chris Tomlin’s “Lay Me Down”.

      Also, shame on you for encouraging copycatting.

    5. I think some of you are missing the point on this one! These are some songs that could work if you were going for a “Mumford-Esque” style in your worship music. Admit it worship leaders: you’ve all thought about it! Many of you (us) have tried it! I can think of a lot of scenarios where this style works a lot better than the “Tomlin-Esque” style that is so popular. No drummer? No problem! Have someone on the team beat that kick drum and just go with it! It’s not copycatting to work within a stylistic framework. Every time you make music you stylize it, deliberately or not. This is just a different framework that could be really useful to worship leaders. So play nice music-snobs!

    6. I think you should definitely add “Lay Me Down” from Tomlin’s Burning Lights to this list. I can’t think of a song that more closely emulates the Mumford sound than this one. You can practically sing “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons right along with this song! We love it at my church, though; lots of folk players on our team, so this trend has been great for us.

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