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The Strumbellas' stand-out single "Spirits" is one of those songs that's currently working on overdrive, finding ears all over the globe with its' catchy chorus and feel good vibes. A few weeks back the Canadian folk rockers topped Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and Shazam recently broke open their mindboggling database to reveal the twelve most likely songs to vie for the coveted title of "Song of the Summer". And guess which track came in at a healthy #5?

So we were more than a little excited to have the band pop in on our Sunset Park abode for a quick run through three songs from their recently released album Hope and also chat about the ride "Spirits" is taking the band on. Anytime a single song catapults a band along, it's always interesting to see what the musicians make of the track's success. Dave Ritter, who handles keyboards for the band, joked, "I think people are taking to it because we did such a good job making it." True Dave...but of course a lot of bands do a good job making their songs and don't get a ticket on the kind of ride The Strumbellas are on. So violinist Izzy Ritchie touched on two points: "One is that it's a super catchy melody and people can sing along and people love singing along. On the darker side, we've been getting a lot of awesome messages and touching notes (and pictures of tattoos their music has inspired, apparently) about how people relate to the lyrics and how the lyrics might be helping them through hard times or loss."

So "Spirits" is destined for amazing things. But the thing is, don't expect The Strumbellas to be one of those bands that enjoy the success of a quick hit and fade away. In the band's session with us, they triumphantly showcased "Shovels & Dirt" and "We Don't Know"; two songs that pack a similar kind of emotional punch you'll want to stomp your feet and shout along to. Which you should totally do, by the way! Just hit play on our latest Baeble NEXT Session and get into it.

Transcript

I got guns in my head and they won't go.
Spirits in my head and they won't go.
I got guns in my head and they won't go.
Spirits in my head and they won't go.
I've been looking at the stars tonight.
And I think oh, how I missed the bright
sun.
I'll be dreaming till the day I die, but
they say oh, how the good die young.
We're all strange, and maybe we don't want
to change.
I got guns in my head and they won't go.
Spirits in my head, and they won't go.
I got guns in my head and they won't go.
Spirits in my head and they won't go.
But the gun still rattles, the gun still
rattles oh.
I got guns in my head and they won't go.
Spirits in my head and they won't go.
I spend a lot of nights on the run, and I
think oh, like I'm lost and can't be found.
I'm just waiting for my day to come, because I think oh, I don't want to let
you down, but something inside has changed, and maybe we don't want to stay
the same.
I got guns in my head, and they won't go.
Spirits in my head and they won't go.
I got guns in my head and they won't go.
Spirits in my head and they won't go.
But the gun still rattles.
The gun still rattles oh.
But the gun still rattles.
The gun still rattles oh.
Oh but I don't want a never-ending life.
I just want to be alive while I'm here, and I don't want a never-ending life.
I just want to be alive while I'm here
And I don't want to see another night lost
inside my lonely life while I'm here.
I got guns in my head, and they won't go.
Spirits in my head, and they won't go.
I got guns in my head, and they won't go
Spirits in my head, and they won't go.
But the gun still rattles. The gun still
rattles oh.
But the gun still rattles.
The gun still rattles oh.
today is called 'Spirits'.
It's the first single from the record.
I think people are taking to it because we did such a good job making it.
about the song that really...get people into it.
One is that it's a super catchy melody, and people can sing along and people love singing along.
And so that's sort of the fun side, and then on the darker side, we've been getting a lot of really awesome messages and touching notes about how people relate to the lyrics and how lyrics might be helping them through hard times or through loss or things they're going through in their lives, so that's sort of a combination of sing-along of all people's kids like it, it's happy, and the darker side with the lyrics, that-- - Yeah, actually we just got a message.
I just read it this morning on Facebook of someone who is saying...they've been depressed. They've been battling depression for a while, and they think the song is a battle cry.
I kinda like thinking about it as like a battle cry against your inner demons.
I can't really imagine anything more satisfying as an artist to think that...something that you make means something to someone.
It's terrifying.
- Yeah, we just saw our first Strumbellas tattoo.
Someone got the lyrics from Spirits tattooed on their arms, and that's...amazing and also terrifying. - Yeah, do people know that tattoos are permanent out there? Guys? Everybody? Just relax a little bit.
Maybe just a touch.
- Yeah, we did 'Shovels and Dirt' which was one of the first...it was the first song that we started playing that we knew was definitely going on the record.
So we've been playing that for maybe like a year and a half, which has been really exciting.
- Yeah, it's maybe the only song on the record that had a long life on stage that we played live for a long time before going into the studio, so it's...it's cool for us.
It has a bit of a different feel, because we've...we've had a long relationship with it, and some of the other ones are so new by comparison, so it's a fun...it's one that stands out for us.
Mama never told them there's a devil in me.
I got a mouth full of rotten and a heart full of greed.
Shovels and dirt, shovels and dirt.
Well it ain't worth living if you don't
get hurt.
Alright! Hee! Hee!
Cowboy hats and crooked teeth with a six shooting pistol just out of my reach
Shovels and dirt, shovels and dirt.
Well it ain't worth living if you don't
get hurt.
I got a head full of darkness and darkness
is good.
Because if we all die young then we don't
get hurt.
Come on!
Well demons pull me side to side again.
Yeah well I'm scared of sleeping
I hate my friends Shovels and dirt, shovels and dirt.
Well it ain't worth living if you don't get hurt.
I got a head full of darkness and darkness is good.
Because if we all die young then we don't get hurt.
I got a head full of darkness and darkness is good.
Because if we all die young then we don't get hurt.
Ooh. Ooh. Ooh. Ooh.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving.
I put a banjo up into the sky.
I got a head full of darkness and darkness
is good, because if we all die young then we don't get hurt.
I got a head full of darkness and darkness is good,
cause if we all die young then we don't get hurt.
So Mama never told them there's a devil in me.
I got a six shooting pistol and I'm ready to leave.
- Today is release day.
We're releasing our third album , 'Hope'.
It's coming out on Glassnote Records and we couldn't be more excited for people to hear...yeah, this was definitely our most ambitious record.
We had the most time to make it, and, in some ways, that meant time to disagree and to...have long discussions and to, you know, reach uneasy compromises and stuff, but I think in the end we're all very happy with the results.
In terms of the album artwork, shout-out to our...artwork illustrator, Joel Hustach. We just love him.
Every time we come to him with an idea, and we came to him with an idea for this one, that the album art would be sort of a celebratory colorful funeral parade, and he just hit it out of the park, and we couldn't be happier.
- Yeah, I think it really reflects the music on the record, too.
A lot of our music's about...dark lyrics with upbeat music.
You know, there might be some things about battling demons or death or loss, but the songs are upbeat and fun and danceable and sort of a celebration of life is what came across in the music and in the artwork.
- This third song we played is called 'We Don't Know'.
I think it was one of the most...ambitious songs that we recorded. It has a sort of...large scale orchestral kind of feel, and...we're particularly excited for people to hear it now that it's out.
Well I know it gets harder every single day
And I know my darkness will never go away
But it's hard when you're living and you don't feel much
and you're down and you're hoping that things are gonna
change.
Oh we don't know the roads that we're
heading down.
We don't know if we're lost, that we'll
find a way.
Oh, we don't know if we leave, will we
make it home.
We don't know, there's hope, then we'll be
okay.
And some say it gets brighter, we just have to wait.
Mother mother, I can feel your heart break
burning through me every single day.
It's hard when you're living and you don't have much,
and you're down and you're hurting cause you don't feel loved.
It's hard when you're living and you don't have much
and you're down and you're hoping that things are gonna change.
Oh we don't know the roads that we're heading down.
We don't know if we're lost, then we'll find a way.
Oh we don't know if we leave, will we make it home.
We don't know, we just hope that we'll be okay.
Oh we don't know the roads that we're heading down.
We don't know if we're lost, then we'll find a way.
Oh we don't know if we leave, will we make it home.
We don't know, we just hope that we'll be okay.
Oh there's something in my mind that's killing me.
There's something that this life's not giving me.
Would you say there's something in my mind that's killing me?
There's something that this life's not giving me.
Would you say? Oh we don't know the roads that we're
heading down.
We don't know if we're lost then we'll
find a way.
Oh we don't know if we leave, will we make
it home.
We don't know, we just hope that we'll be
okay.
Oh we don't know the roads that we're
heading down.
We don't know if we're lost then we'll
find a way.
We don't know if we leave, will we make it
home.
We don't know, there's hope, then we'll be
okay.

Artist Bio

When a crowd is singing along with the last chorus after hearing the song for the first time, and Twitter lights up with those same lyrics in the days following a performance, you know it's a song that connects. With poignant yet sing-along-able lyrics and undeniable rock noir musical undertones, Spirits, the first single from The Strumbellas forthcoming album, embodies the essence of what has been attracting fans from across North America to this Lindsay, Ontario-bred band.

That journey has been a whirlwind since the release of the bands 2012 debut album My Father And The Hunter. The Strumbellas' sound haunting lyrics fused with infectious, danceable melodies won them both fans and critical recognition. A year later, they followed up with We Still Move On Dance Floors, which earned the band six awards, including a JUNO and Sirius XM
Indie Award, as well as a spot on the Polaris Music Prize Long List. And of course, there's been touring. Lots of touring.

In early 2015, the Strumbellas, off the road and ready to go into the studio again, set up shop at downtown Toronto's Lincoln County Social Club to record the new album with LA Producer/Engineer, Dave Schiffman (Johnny Cash, Haim, Weezer). During three recording sessions during the first half of 2015, Schiffman and the band harnessed a vivid sound that was itching to get out of them. Bigger. Bolder. Beckoning.

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The Strumbellas

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