Mumford & Sons have returned with their latest single “Blind Leading the Blind,” which was released Wednesday (Oct. 23) on all digital streaming platforms.
The song has been bubbling over the last year, infused with inspiration from the writing of American author John Steinbeck, who lead singer Marcus Mumford says he studies very closely. The British folk rock band accepted the prestigious John Steinbeck Award in September 2019, which is annually awarded to artists, writers, philosophers and activists who embody his legacy dedicated to delivering a raw perception of social issues plaguing the United States and around the world.
Additionally, the song alludes to the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy and Mumford’s philanthropic efforts as an ambassador for War Child U.K. and Children in Conflict U.S. Mumford & Sons’ collective formation of the Gentlemen of the Road fund in 2016 that donates “to charities fighting for social justice and common good around the world” also fueled this single, as it touches on overall themes of intentional listening and community building based on the value of mutual respect.
Poignant lyrics such as “My generation’s stuck in the mirror/ ‘Forget about the poor, ‘cause I don’t like the word’” expose people’s cynicism, and the grim message feels disguised within their signature sprightly yet firm folk tune.
Grammy-winning producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Foster the People, Florence + The Machine) lent a hand on the song, which Mumford & Sons recorded in his The Church studios in London. The single signals the first new music from the group since their Billboard 200 No. 1 album Delta from 2018.
The band first debuted the song last month during the second day of the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.