Blind Leading The Blind is a song that the band have been working on, re-shaping, re-writing and generally re-imagining over the last eighteen months. It was the band’s recent awarding of the prestigious John Steinbeck Award at San Jose State University in September that helped give renewed focus, inadvertently allowing them to finish the song and present it today.
Blind Leading The Blind touches on subjects pertinent to Steinbeck’s extended literary works, but primarily the notion of community. Marcus Mumford, a self-proclaimed studier of this great American author, noted that his work with the people involved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, as an ambassador for War Child UK and Children In Conflict US, 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.
Marcus Mumford: “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.”
With context set aside, Blind Leading The Blind is another absolute belter of a tune from Mumford & Sons. In a year where they’ve headlined their first stadiums in the US and brought an almost career-defining set to London’s All Points East (in a unique collaboration with their own Gentlemen of the Road events) during the Summer, releasing new music in the wake of their fourth album Delta’s year-long success around the globe is a fine way to cap another tremendous year for them.
With plans already afoot for new releases in the Spring, suggesting that the second decade of Mumford & Sons will welcome a whole new chapter for a band whose story is still very much being written, being told.