The Strumbellas Give Us the Lowdown On That Itsy Bitsy Single Of Theirs
The Strumbellas' break-out single "Spirits" is a joyous bout of lush arrangements, foot stomping/handclapping rhythms, and a chorus you just want to belt out at the top of your lungs. It's a great song and you've probably heard it...on the radio, at the drug store, in commercials, or on whatever destination you go to in order to bone up on hip new tunage (like Baeble
?). At press time, "Spirits" is cranking plays in all of the places you want to be cranking plays if you're a band in the year 2016. On Spotify, they've amassed 33 million plays on the song to date. In YouTube, I guess you would say their successes are a little more modest...a measly
12.5 million plays, spinning a little over 4000 times an hour. Ho hum, move on...nothing to see here.
So life ain't bad for this Canadian folk pop outfit. A few weeks back we had the opportunity to spend a little quality time with the band, hear a handful of songs from their new album Hope
, sneak a little on-camera time with Dave Ritter and Izzie Ritchie, and get high off the serious warm fuzzies that accompanied their arrival to our offices.
But it's THAT SONG we really
wanted to talk about. Cause it's everywhere...how did it get everywhere guys? "I think people are taking to it because we did such a good job making it," Ritter joked. True. But a lot of bands do a good job making music and don't get to enjoy this kind of success. So on a more serious note, Richie explained, "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 photos of tattoos their music has inspired...the real "mark" of making it) about how people relate to the lyrics and how the lyrics might be helping them through hard times or loss." "It's a battle cry against your inner demons," adds Ritter. Hell yeah it is.
So there you have it. "Spirits" is officially a feel good phenomenon, one that will likely come in handy at the Strumbellas' next high school reunion. "I'm excited for all my old high school girlfriends to see how successful and happy I've become," concluded Ritter. So are we mate, so are we.
- 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.
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 - A lot of our music's about dark lyrics with upbeat music.
You know, there might be songs 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.
- In terms of the album artwork, a shoutout to our artwork illustrator, Joel Hustak.
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.
And I don't want a never-ending life I just want to be alive while I'm here - Yeah, the first song we did 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.
- I think there's a couple things about this song that like 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 the lyrics might be helping them through hard times or through loss or things they're going through in their lives.
- Yeah, we actually we just got a message.
I just read it this morning on Facebook of someone who was saying they've been depressed for...they've been battling depression for a while and they think the song's a battle cry.
I kind of like thinking about it as like a battle cry... - Oh, I haven't read that one.
- ...against your inner demons. 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 - I'm just psyched for people to hear the record.
Like we started recording it and working on it over a year ago and it's been a long, ambitious process.
And we're so excited about it, we just want people to hear it and hear the other songs other than Spirits and hope they like it.
- Yeah, I'm excited for my old high school girlfriends to see how successful and happy I've become.
And then, you know, to sort of like burn a little bit inside with bitterness and jealousy.
That's what I want.
That's what I'm most excited about.
We don't know if we leave, will we make it home We don't know, there's hope, then we'll be okay - Hey, this is Day Dog.
- And Grizzy Bear from the Strumbellas.
- And you're watching Baeble Music.
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.