In May 2009, the Cave and the Open Sea EP was released; meanwhile, Mumford & Sons signed to Island Records and worked with producer Markus Dravs (the Arcade Fire, Maccabees) on their first full-length. That summer, the single "Little Lion Man" became the first taste of their new material; it was named Hottest Record in the World This Week by BBC 1 Radio DJ Zane Lowe in July. The group was short-listed for the BBC's Sound of 2009 Poll shortly before its debut album, Sigh No More, was released that winter. It was issued a year later in America on the Glassnote Records label and sold over a million copies between the two countries. The group's second studio album, the much-anticipated Babel, arrived in September 2012. The album would become a commercial hit, topping the Billboard 200 before going platinum in the U.S. and receiving a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Recorded live over two nights at Colorado's legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the band's first live film/recording, Road to Red Rocks, followed in late 2012, but after wrapping up their international tour in support of Babel, the group members announced that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus. In early 2015, the band announced both a return to the stage and plans to release a new album. The resulting James Ford-produced Wilder Mind, the group's third studio long-player, arrived in early May of that year and debuted at number one. In 2016, during their South African tour, they recorded an EP in collaboration with Baaba Maal, the Very Best, and Beatenberg. Johannesburg, named after the city where it was recorded, featured their Record Store Day 2016 single "There Will Be Time" and saw release in June of that year. ~ Heather Phares