Strumbellas find their niche

(Kate Turner -- File Photo)
(Kate Turner — File Photo)

Only a year after their debut album, My Father and the Hunter, The Strumbellas are at it again with their recent sophomore release, We Still Move on Dance Floors.

While some bands to reinvent themselves after their debut album, lead vocalist Simon Ward recently assured that other than a few smaller changes, that was not the case for The Strumbellas. “There is definitely a little more pop influence or a little more mainstream influence than the last album, which had more country influence,” remarked lead singer Ward. “We were just kind of trying to change it up a bit, but not stray too far from our roots.”

One of the constant struggles of a new band is how one defines themselves in a sea of similarly sounding bands. However, unlike most newer bands, Ward had a simple answer for this difficult question. “I would say Alt-Country and if that is not exactly the term maybe just country. I would say we definitely fall back into country roots. “

For new listeners who want to know what the band is all about, Ward suggested: “There’s a song on the new album called “Ride On” just because it’s full of country but it has our Strumbellas twist on it and I think it’s a really good reflection of what we are doing right now.”

This year has been an interesting one for the band. On February 19, their debut album was announced as a Juno nominee for Roots &Traditional Album of the Year by a Group. When asked about the experience, Ward was still reeling from the announcement. “We had no idea. It was a super shock to us because you know it was our first album and we were a really young band and we were just super excited and nervous all in one … we flew out there for the weekend and it was probably one of the best weekends we ever had,” recalled Ward.“We got to meet so many cool musicians and we got to play with some unbelievable Canadian artists so the whole experience was surreal and fun at the same time.”

Recently, The Strumbellas were featured on one of the most iconic television programs in Canada, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.  On Nov.9, to commemorate the upcoming Remembrance Day, The Strumbellas’ latest single off their new album, “Sailing,” was featured in the opening montage before the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins game.

“It was really special because we were actually on tour when it happened, we … went to a bar in Calgary and asked the bar owner to turn up the volume so we could watch it and I got a little misty eyed to be honest,” continued Ward. “It just meant a lot to me because a lot of the songs I write about are about war and World War II. So to have our song to be montages with the Remembrance Day theme, it meant a lot.”

With 2013 wrapping up, be sure to keep an eye on this Canadian band.

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