Who Should Buy This: Folk-rockers, people who understand darkness but choose light, people who own a rocking chair, those who have uttered the phrase “dark whimsy”, and alternative music fanatics.
Artist: The Strumbellas
Genre: alternative, folk, indie
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 8/10
Sounds Like: The Head and the Heart, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men
Interesting Fact: My 3-year-old niece thinks that the lyrics to Spirits are “I’ve got gum in my hair and it won’t go.”
Best thing About this Album: There’s never really been an emo take on country/folk music that I’m aware of. Depressing country music usually drinks itself into a stupor, but this is seriously addressing depression and hope in a beautiful way that blends alternative and folk influences.
One thing I wish was different: Dog. Every. Single. Thing about that track. It could almost be a caricature of things I detest. I’d find it hilarious if it wasn’t so irritating.
Website: The Strumbellas
Favorites: Spirits, We Don’t Know, Wars, The Hired Band, Young & Wild
Parental Guidance: The Night Will Save Us says “We took off all our clothes”, but it’s abstract metaphor rather than provocative narrative if that makes a difference. It also mentions drinking the “cheapest wine”. Wild Sun says “maybe everyone can go to hell” in the first verse (actually it kinda shouts it a little).
This is a playlist of all of the songs from the album that will automatically play through the whole album. To skip to a particular song, click on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
Do you know what the world was missing before this album came along? A dark Canadian folk-inspired marching band leading a whimsical funeral procession of crazies with some alternative musical magic. The world needs this. We just didn’t know it until Simon and Co. came along. It’s the strangest kind of beauty that instantly endears itself to your heart while nostalgia tickles a smile at the back of your mind. This is an album that you really have to live and breathe to get. Understanding lies in experience rather than study in this case. To get you started, here are some of my favorite lines from each track.
“I’ll be a dreamer ’til the day I die. But they say, ‘Oh, how the good die young!’” — Spirits
“It ain’t worth living if you don’t get hurt.” — Shovels & Dirt
“We don’t know. There’s hope. Then we’ll be okay.” — We Don’t Know
“We all know that the sun will shine. I must go and chase this dream of mine.” — Wars
“Well, it’s hard when they love you and you can’t love them back.” — Dog
“I want you to know that I’m a lion man. I’m a trying man.” — The Hired Band
“There’s a ghost, ghost, ghost living in my head. There’s a hope, hope, hope burning in my bed.” — Young & Wild
“I don’t know where is my home, but we carry on.” — The Night Will Save Us
“All I ever wanted was to be a different man.” — I Still Make Her Cry
“We’re a long way from home and everything’s strange.” — David
“Maybe all the dreams I had were never real.” — Wild Sun
That’s it. If you loved these songs as much as I did, please consider supporting The Strumbellas by purchasing the album from their website or on your favorite digital music store (iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, etc.)
And holler at me in the comments! I’d love to talk to you all about this album.