Arts & Crafts
Fleet Foxes have a lot to answer for. For all their inventive arrangements and three-minute dissonant sax solos, the only thing they’ve influenced in the modern musical landscape is a lot of white bread.
So here’s Mumford & Sons Mach III, AKA Reuben And The Dark.
While they’re not as offensively bland as Mumford, you know what this album sounds like before you’ve heard it. Acoustic guitars, wordless, unimaginative harmonies, mid-tempo drums, rustic imagery and vague religious references, all layered with heavy reverb, add up to complete the indie-folk checklist.
This is a competently produced album, so obviously the group knows what it’s doing. The tragedy is that it seems to use indie-folk clichés only because they’re fashionable. These are simple indie-pop songs at heart, until a reverb-drenched multi-voiced harmony and a steady folk drumbeat appears, shoehorning the album into indie-folk territory and quashing any potential for ingenuity.
So if you can’t get enough of the current folk boom, you might get something out of Funeral Sky. Otherwise, hope that mainstream audiences realise that folk is literally the furthest away from a new genre of music as possible and we can all move on from this sedate era of music ASAP.