“Hillbilly Pop” from The Strumbellas
Hear ye! The Strumbellas are coming to Ottawa! Holy macaroni, I love this band! You may not have heard of them yet, but believe me when I tell you, you will! Quirky and adrenaline-fueled, The Strumbellas' debut release My Father and the Hunter is a wonderfully full listening experience.
Packed with Southern twang and superb pop hooks, The Strumbellas takes these elements and more, and genuinely create a rich, evocative, lively record, clever and sweet, tender and at times drunkenly joyful. The themes and lyrics on My Father and the the Hunter are mostly retrospective and reflective, centering around the idea of relationships, whether with your significant other, the world around you, or with your own personal Maker. Songs of loss and redemption, insightful and thought-provoking, will get stuck in your brainpan.
The Strumbellas have smartly crafter a strong balance between the more "hillbilly" aspects of the genre, and the strong pop sensibilities on this record, and it works rather nicely. "The Bird that Follows Me" is definitely a standout on this album – orchestral, sweeping, and heartfelt, beautifully arranged and performed. While there have been other bands that have successfully delved into this genre, from Dexy's Midnight Runners to the more recent Avery Brothers or Mumford and Sons, rarely have bands of that genre done so as earnestly and raucously as The Strumbellas. My Father and the Hunter is an album infused with a joy and energy that is an amazing thing to hear. This Toronto septet displays a genuine love for this type of music, and it certainly shows.
If you haven’t heard the new Strumbellas single, Lakes, do yourself a favour and give it a listen! Check it out here.
I haven’t heard something this fun, or that I’ve liked this much, in a long time. It’s
an infectious, carry-you-away kind of song. Quirky, locomotive, peppered with great
vocals and harmonies. The presence of alternate instrumentation, accordions and
mandolins, could have easily fallen into cliché or an uninspired attempt at reviving
the “hillbilly sound”, but The Strumbellas have crafted some lovely, downright poignant songs with My Father and the Hunter. Seven people delivering high-energy, fun, danceable roots-based music, singing, dancing, and playing their hearts out. What's not to like?
The Strumbellas will be at Café Dekcuf on Friday, November 2. More info: www.cafedekcuf.com
Also! Try the super-fun My Father and the Hunter video game, designed and created by the band’s very own Dave Ritter, at thestrumbellas.ca/game
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