Mumford & Sons reminded fans on Monday night (Sept. 24) that they are the undisputed masters of the slow burn. The folk rockers performed the network TV debut of “Guiding Light,” on The Tonight Show, revving up the first single from their upcoming fourth studio album, Delta (Nov. 16), from a gentle strum to a full-band rumble, complete with acoustic guitar, banjo and new wave-y synths.
Singer Marcus Mumford squinted out into the distance as he crooned the song’s rousing chorus: “Well I know I had it all on the line/ But don’t just sit with folded hands and become blind/ Cos even when there is no star i sight/ You’ll always be my only guiding light.” Speaking to Billboard recently, Mumford said the recording of Delta was more of an “experiment,” with the group loosening up restrictions on which instruments they could use and putting up “no boundaries creatively.”
Mumford told Fallon that the group was in New York to finish mixing the album, which was not stressing him out at all. “You’re still mixing the record? Is this the first time you’ve promoted an album that’s not finished?,” a surprised Fallon asked. “Yeah, but this is the modern world. It’s going to be fine! Don’t worry about it!,” Mumford laughed, his voice rising higher as he tried to convince himself and the host that things will work out.
After big-upping his band mates as his favorite songwriters, Mumford was asked about his biggest influences, revealing that the only CD in his family car that survived his teenage years was a Bruce Springsteen greatest hits compilation. “We have met him a couple times, he’s very nice,” he said, noting the Mumford & Sons once jammed with The Boss at a festival in Belgium. “We were all a little over-excited because it’s Springsteen,” he said of the rare opportunity.
Turns out the rock legend had watched Mumford’s set and then turned to them during his set and beckoned them onto the stage, at which point Marcus promptly forgot all the lyrics to “Hungry Heart” in his excitement. “It’s quite hard to forget the lyrics to ‘Hungry Heart,’ that’s how nervous I was,” Mumford said.
Watch Mumford & Sons on The Tonight Show below.