The UK indie folk scene has scared up some pretty serious acts in the past couple years, chief among them Mumford & Sons, which has a tenuous connection with Mandala’s Cameron McClain. Seems McClain went to high school with Winston from M&S as well as members of Noah & the Whale and Cherbourg.
McClain studied religion and philosophy at Princeton but also took lessons from poet Paul Muldoon and music professor Paul Lansky, whose works have been sampled by Radiohead so he must be cool, right?
Mandala’s debut doesn’t come out until October but there are already tantalizing bits of their music online via the band’s official Youtube channel, culminating this week with an official music video for the song “Blue Darkening” that’s a nice bit of film noir in and of itself. Sonically on this one, McClain sounds like Billy Bragg singing over a David Sylvian track, though when the full orchestration kicks in about halfway through it comes out more in Triffids’ territory.