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Emmys 2017
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Mumford & Sons' 'Whispers in the Dark' video

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Mumford And Sons

When people think of Mumford & Sons as a throwback act, they mean that they use instrumentation and an aesthetic that dates back to the roots of American folk, country, and bluegrass. But when it comes to music videos, they are similarly old-school, in the sense that they really seem to be trying to make the sort of clips one of the biggest-selling rock bands in the country is supposed to make.

For their last video, they went the auteur route and handed over the direction and acting reigns to Luther star Idris Elba. For their new video for “Whispers in the Dark,” director Jim Canty (who has also worked with Mika and Mark Ronson) split the screen into four quadrants and gave each band member his own on-his-way-to-the-show narrative. In essence, it forces you to watch the clip four times to truly follow everything (though really, you probably only have to watch it three times — in his story line, Marcus Mumford simply gets on a motorcycle and rides to the gig).

Check it out below. 

It’s the sort of classy, adventurous, vaguely artsy video that you used to expect from the likes of Coldplay, R.E.M., or whoever else was at the top of the rock heap at the moment, and Mumford & Sons are wearing that hat quite nicely. Plus, this video essentially doubles the experiment set up by Semisonic 15 years ago.

One gripe though: In watching the video, it really drives home how ridiculous frontman Mumford sounds when he’s trying to rhyme “once” with “chance.” Even with his accent, it doesn’t work at all.

What do you think of “Whispers in the Dark”?

Read More on EW.com:

The Great Folk Rock Revival: how bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers are leading a global phenomenon — plus an ultimate Spotify playlist

Grammy Performances: Mumford & Sons

Review: Mumford & Sons, Babel