Dear west London, thanks for the music.

It’s official. I’ve found a favorite.

I hate when people ask me what my favorite of anything is. Movie? Color? Place to eat? It doesn’t matter what it is; I hate it. Favorite is such a strong word. It’s not fair. I can never provide an answer that represents myself well and is actually true. It drives me nuts. (You should know that I’m aware I am a little crazy. That’s beside the point.)

Moving on. I have a new favorite band. A favorite band. Perhaps someday I’ll regret claiming that Mumford and Sons is my favorite band, but today I just cannot help myself. I bought their album on itunes. It’s official.

I found these peeps at Lollapalooza, of all places. “Lolla”–as it is affectionately called by music-loving Chicagoans–is a huge 3-day outdoor music festival that happens in Grant Park every summer. Jeremy and I coughed up the cash to attend one day, to take part in a major Chicago summer tradition.

One of Jeremy’s friends had told us that, as crazy as giant outdoor festivals can be (not to mention sweaty, crowded, boozy), Lolla was a neat opportunity to discover unfamiliar bands and new music. At the time I wasn’t so convinced, but still was looking forward to seeing bands like MGMT and The Arcade Fire perform live.

We arrived in the early afternoon, and stumbled upon a crowd waiting for Mumford and Sons to perform. Jeremy knew of them, and I remembered my friend Emily saying they were really great, so we stood in the hot sun under an umbrella and waited for them to come on. As I watched and listened, I said to myself, “I think I’m becoming a fan right now.” And I was.

photo by: Matt Ellis

Everything about this band is awesome. They’re described as four young men with “fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful, melancholy voices.” They come from west London and play the most brilliant music with clever lyrics and a wide variety of instruments. You’ve got to love a band that utilizes an accordion, a madolin, a banjo, and a dobro (have you ever even heard that word?). They all sing. They all play all the instruments. It’s clear they play music for the love of it, and that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Need I say more?

This music reminds me of all the reasons I love music. I’m so glad I have eardrums.

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