Robin Hood, a fox, a man in a wedding dress and a giant chicken are running through a field. This is not the start of a joke, but it was something attendees might have seen at Bonnaroo this year. And while the sight isn’t out of the ordinary for the festival, the motley crew turned out to be Mumford & Sons filming footage for their new video for “The Wolf.”
On hand as one of this year’s headliners, Mumford & Sons also teamed up with filmmaker — and professional festival fence jumper — Marcus Haney to film the outrageous, silly, oddly inspiring clip for the Wilder Mind cut.
Matching the song’s robust pace, the video splices live footage of the band’s set with their in-costume antics, which included a trip down a giant waterslide and one on Bonnaroo’s famous Ferris wheel. There are fireworks and an Ed Helms cameo, plus dancing on top of trailers and Marcus Mumford’s William Tell impression, in which the frontman shoots at a water bottle on top of a man’s head with his trusty bow and suction-cup arrow.
As evidenced by “The Wolf,” Wilder Mind marked a drastic sonic shift for Mumford & Sons, who dropped their signature neo-folk sound and went electric. Though electric guitars and keyboards weren’t new to the band, Mumford told Rolling Stone that adding more instruments meant a greater emphasis on restraint.
“We’ve sort of become a bit more patient,” Mumford said. “There’s way more space on this record than there was on the last two… I think all our favorite bands have albums that are really urgent. But they have so much space in them. You listen to an Old Crow album and there’s not a huge amount of space there. But you listen to a Led Zeppelin album and you actually hear the space. All our favorite bands, from Dire Straits and Fleetwood Mac to Radiohead, all go about it in interesting ways.”
Mumford & Sons have a handful of North American dates lined up for the rest of the summer, including a headlining set at San Francisco’s Outside Lands, and a two-night stand at The Forum in Los Angeles on August 17th and 18th. The band’s traveling stopover festival, Gentlemen of the Road, is also scheduled to hit Walla Walla, Washington and Salida, Colorado on August 15th and 22nd, respectively.