The Strumbellas Went From Playing Farmers' Markets to Their Hit Single 'Spirits': Alt In Our Stars Podcast

Jenny Regan
The Alt in Our Stars Podcast featuring: Strumbellas

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.’” 

The Strumbellas Premiere James Bond-Inspired 'Spirits' Video, Talk Glassnote Debut Album

Their journey has sometimes seemed like a Portlandia sketch, but the Strumbellas have a bona fide hit on their hands, and they’re ready to think about their next move. Ward and Ritchie stopped by Billboard’s office this week and pondered their next single, as well as following up Hope altogether. “I’ve written a lot of stuff that I have cooked up,” Ward says. “But in terms of what direction… I have no idea. That’s something I think about, but nothing I can say is for sure at all.”

For all this -- plus musings on old James Bond classics, the most stylish Major League Baseball caps, and the coolest places to hang in Toronto -- check out the latest episode of the Alt In Our Stars podcast above.

Past Episodes: Shamir | Panic! at the Disco | Courtney Barnett | PVRIS | Lights | Børns | Chairlift | CHVRCHES | X Ambassadors | Silversun Pickups

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