The newest single from Mumford & Sons, “Hopeless Wanderer,” starts out as what you’d expect from a folk band, but quickly goes off the rails. The video starts with folksy staples: an old-timey title card, sepia-toned pastorals, and a gang of musicians coaxing gentle tunes from their instruments. But something is rotten in folkville, and soon, you realize this isn’t Mumford & Sons at all but rather comedians Ed Helms, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Will Forte in ridiculous country get-ups.
At first, the bizarro Mumford & Sons quartet plays it fairly straight and do a commendable job of mock-playing their instruments, but that doesn’t last long. The video goes from calm to chaos as the music gets faster and faster, with former SNL funnyman Jason Sudeikis leaning in closer and closer to his pseudo-bandmates. Then, he engages in a full-on make-out session with his former SNL compadre Will Forte, sporting a bushy beard. The video culminates with the complete annihilation of all the lovely instruments.
Back in September, when being interviewed by The Independent, the band said they wanted to try and expand their appeal. “[Our fans are] mostly gap-year public-school girls,” said the band's multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett. “I walked into a shop in New York and there was a black guy with dreadlocks and he said, ‘Hey man, I was at your gig in New Orleans,’” added Mumford. “I was like, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I’m your only black fan!’ I don’t know how we can branch that out.”
The “Hopeless Wanderer” video will definitely help. It’s already a viral hit, garnering over 1 million views in a single day. And if any music video warranted the Making the Video treatment from MTV, it’s this one. Your move, MTV!