The Strumbellas at Union Transfer, 3 Things To Know

The Strumbellas will be at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Nov. 10.
The Strumbellas will be at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Nov. 10. PHOTO COURTESY OF GLASSNOTE RECORDS

IF YOU GO

The Strumbellas will be at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Nov. 10. For information and tickets, check http://www.thestrumbellas.ca/tour/ or https://www.utphilly.com/calendar/

The Strumbellas “Hope” has been more than realized during the past year and a half.

The Ontario alt.folk/rock group’s third album debuted at No. 3 in its homeland after its April 2016 release while the single “Spirits” won a Juno Award (the group’s second) for Single of the Year. Strumbellas story is spreading south of the border as well, where “Spirits” was No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.

It’s all getting bigger and better, in other words, and Strumbellas is making sure the, er, spirit continues to carry the group forward...

• The Strumbellas has been doing plenty of touring in support of “Hope,” and keyboardist David Ritter says the fruits of that labor are evident on the sextet’s current tour. “I think there’s a little more familiarity, which is nice,” Ritter, 38, explains by phone from Topeka, Kan. “When we started touring behind this album it was a lot of people knew the song ‘Spirits’ but didn’t necessarily know who we were. Now you can see people in the crowd singing along to some of our older stuff and other songs on the (‘Hope’) record. We wanted touring to introduce us so they knew more than the song, and that’s happening. It feels like people are appreciating us for more than one song; If they just want to appreciate us for one song, that’s amazing, but if they want to dig in further that’s even better.”

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• Winning the Juno, Ritter says, “felt amazing. We were completely surprised. We were up against Drake and some of those huge artists for single of the year, so to win was insane. And the album just went gold in Canada, so that’s nice. Anything that happens is special because that’s where we call home, so it’s nice.”

• The Strumbellas is starting to work on material for the group’s fourth album, with a small recording studio on the road and plenty of ideas being passed back and forth. Ritter acknowledges that after “Hope’s” success there’s a bit more pressure on what comes next. “I think this band has always challenged itself to go bigger and get better,” he says. “We always feel like any record or recording session could be our last, so there’s always a certain amount of pressure and it definitely feels like there’s more this time. It feels like this is the first record where a lot of people are going to be waiting to hear it. We’re nog toing to have to drive it in quite the same way as we did with other records, where we had to tour a lot. For the first time we’re going to put out music we know people will listen to, so yeah, there’s more pressure.”