Band Of Monsters and Men
The Gist The Icelandic six-piece’s My Head Is an Animal is all lush arrangements, male-female vocals, and Scandinavian charm (plus a breakout single, ”Little Talks”).
Also Sounds Like… Arcade Fire — minus the angst, plus more pretty snowflakes.
Are There Banjos? Banjos, no. Glockenspiel and melodica, a.k.a. the ”key flute”? Já
Band Ben Howard
The Gist Okay, so he’s actually on Mumford bassist Ben Lovett’s label. But the lovelorn ballads on his recent Every Kingdom have already made him a U.K. star.
Also Sounds Like… Bob Dylan — if Bob also did a pretty killer cover of ”Call Me Maybe.”
Are There Banjos? The man only has two hands! Usually, both are occupied with his acoustic guitar.
Band Milo Greene
The Gist The recent Civil Wars tour openers explore dreamy harmonies and rolling percussion — see standout ”1957” — on their self-titled debut, out July 17.
Also Sounds Like… Fleet Foxes (those harmonies!), if they had a lady Fox.
Are There Banjos? There are. And mandolin, too; on stage, the California quintet pass their instruments around like peace pipes.
Band The Head and the Heart
The Gist The Seattle folk-pop sextet’s 2011 self-titled campfire-folk bow has earned them tour dates with Vampire Weekend and Death Cab for Cutie.
Also Sounds Like… Ryan Adams, in both the sandpapery vocals and vague self-loathing.
Are There Banjos? Piano and violin take up most of the ”bonus instrument” space.
Band Old Crow Medicine Show
The Gist These Tennessee stalwarts inspired Mumford so much, the younger band brought them on the road last year — and seriously upped their profile.
Also Sounds Like… Hank Williams on a bluegrass bender (watch the raucous jams in the just-released Mumford tour doc Big Easy Express for evidence).
Are There Banjos? So. Much. Banjo! And more fiddle than a barnyard square dance.