Two friends called me up within one day to tell me Mumford & Sons had covered The National in their recent VH1 Unplugged set. Since I’m a fan of both bands I figured I shouldn’t let my National bias get in the way and would give it a fair listen. While I think I’m being honest in saying it didn’t live up to my expectations, singer Marcus Mumford does add a certain folksy twang I quite enjoy. It’s worth a listen – even if it’s just to fully realize the importance of Matt Berninger’s baritone on a song. The absence of his voice in this cover changes the meaning of the song for me. The lurking sadness is gone along with a few layers of meaning.
Mumford & Sons filmed April 13 in NYC and the full Unplugged episode has been airing on VH1 throughout June.