The Strumbellas are having a moment. Their debut Glassnote Records single “Spirits” has been on the Alternative Songs chart for 16 weeks (it’s currently at No. 2) and judging by the sound of their new album Hope, many more such moments could be coming. Not bad for a folk-rock band that got its start playing the Toronto farmers’ market circuit.
“That first summer we played a lot of farmers’ markets,” violinist Izzy Ritchie says, reflecting on the band’s early days (they formed in 2008). “Our first shows were at farmers’ markets before we started playing bars or clubs.” Adds frontman Simon Ward, “I think one guy passed and was like, ‘That’s some great pickle-buying music.’”