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Mumford & Sons Announce New Project, ‘Johannesburg’

By Amanda Wicks

Amidst their current North American tour, Mumford & Sons are turning their attention toward South Africa and the special project that emerged out of their time there. The band will be releasing Johannesburg, a new set of recordings featuring Baaba Maal, Beatenberg and The Very Best.

Related: Mumford & Sons Release ‘Homme Less’ Documentary Trailer Ft. Their Song ‘Tompkins Square Park’

Johannesburg is an album that emerged from the band’s South African tour in early 2016. It marked their first visit, and an intense musical collaboration with Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, South African band Beatenberg and The Very Best resulted. Mumford & Sons stopped by Studio 2 and the Auditorium of the South African Broadcasting Corporation to record Johannesburg.

Speaking about Baaba Maal, Ben Lovett said, “Baaba really encourages ideas and brings the best out of the four us I think. He’s a natural leader, and you know you’ve struck the right chord (literally) because he’ll open his mouth and all of a sudden the most epic vocal line with be riding over the top of the music. It’s interesting, he won’t simply sing over anything, he’ll wait until he hears something in what we’re offering him.”

“There Will Be Time” marks the album’s first single, and it premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats Radio. Baaba Maal’s vocals and a bare piano open the song before Marcus Mumford steps in. The song blends the band’s traditional folk sound with an African flare.

Johannesburg will be released June 17th.

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