Originally conceived of last year, “Blind Leading The Blind” has been an ongoing work in progress—with the band continually re-shaping, re-writing and generally re-imagining over the past eighteen months. Following their recent acceptance of the prestigious John Steinbeck Award last month, the band was inspired and given renewed focus to finally finish the piece.
Thematically, “Blind Leading The Blind” touches on subjects pertinent to Steinbeck’s extended literary works, but primarily the notion of community, intentional listening and finding and acting on a mutual respect for each other. Marcus Mumford—a self-proclaimed studier of this great American author—noted that his own work with the people involved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, his involvement as an ambassador for War Child U.K. and Children In Conflict U.S. and, broader-still, the band’s formation and undertaking of the Gentlemen of the Road fund, inspired the lyrics of the song, and those lyrics loosely reflected those themes, noted above, and ever-present to Steinbeck’s writing.
Of the song, Marcus Mumford shares, “‘Blind Leading The Blind’ has been a song we’ve had up our sleeves for some time, which ended up being a catalytic song for much of our work on Delta, its themes and feelings, but that we never got round to finishing in time to put it on the original release. We’re proud that we’ve finally finished it, as it feels like one of the most challenging songs, thematically, that we’ve put out there, both for ourselves and our audience. It feels it’s becoming harder and harder to coerce yourself into a listening, present and unafraid disposition, but that’s the gauntlet we’re throwing down for ourselves.”
Produced by Paul Epworth and recorded at London’s The Church studio, “Blind Leading The Blind” is the first new music from the Grammy and BRIT Award-winning band since the release of 2018’s acclaimed full-length album, Delta. The band’s third consecutive #1 debut, the record debuted at #1 across the Billboard 200, Americana/Folk Albums, Alternative Rock Albums and Rock Albums charts and yielded the largest sales week for an alternative rock album in 2018 and the sixth-largest debut among all titles last year. The album also received widespread critical praise upon its release—the Associated Press declared, “Mumford & Sons roar back with Delta…redefines what they do and who they are,” while Esquire asserted, “their most drastic expansion in creative scope yet, both sonically and lyrically” and Billboard proclaimed, “the band is smack in the middle of its most fertile creative period to date.”