The Strumbellas

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The Strumbellas
Strumbellas Lollapalooza.jpg
The Strumbellas at Lollapalooza 2016
Background information
OriginLindsay, Ontario, Canada
Years active2008–present
  • Simon Ward
  • David Ritter
  • Jon Hembrey
  • Isabel Ritchie
  • Darryl James
  • Jeremy Drury

The Strumbellas are a rock band from Canada, whose music has been described as alternative country, indie rock, and gothic folk.[3]


Formed in 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, the band consists of songwriter Simon Ward on vocals and guitar, David Ritter on vocals and keys, Jon Hembrey on lead guitar, Isabel Ritchie on violin, Darryl James on bass guitar, and Jeremy Drury on drums. Hembrey, James, Drury and Ward are all originally from Lindsay, Ontario, while Ritter and Ritchie joined after Ward posted a call for additional musicians to Craigslist.[4]

The band's self-titled EP was released in 2009, garnering numerous positive reviews[5] and coverage in many different media outlets; stating them as a band to watch. Their Southern Souls video by Mitch Fillion received attention from many bloggers[6] and awarded them an ongoing Monday night residency at Toronto's legendary Cameron House.

In 2010 the band was invited to play landmark venues including Yonge-Dundas Square, the Horseshoe Tavern and the Peterborough Folk Festival.[citation needed] Their full-length debut album, My Father and the Hunter, was released independently in 2012, and recorded at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Ontario.[7] It was nominated for a 2013 Juno Award in the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Group category.[8]

The band later signed with Six Shooter Records, releasing their second album, We Still Move on Dance Floors, in 2013.[9] The album was produced by Ryan Hadlock. We Still Move on Dance Floors won a 2014 Juno Award in the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Group category. After winning the Juno award, frontman Simon Ward expressed his distress after realizing that the live feed of the band's acceptance speech was cut off due to technical difficulties.[10]

The Strumbellas performing at Summerfest in 2019.

The band's third studio album, Hope, was released on April 22, 2016. The first single from that album, Spirits, topped the Billboard Alternative Songs chart the last two weeks of May 2016[11][12] and also enjoyed significant mainstream radio play in Canada and a number of European countries.[13][14] On April 21, 2016, the band were featured performers on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, closing out the episode with a live performance of Spirits.[15] They also performed at the NHL Heritage Classic in Winnipeg during the first intermission on October 23, 2016.[16]

The band began an international tour in the summer of 2016, continuing throughout 2017 in Australia, Europe, and North America including festivals such as Bonnaroo and Governor's Ball. The band's song "Spirits" won the 2017 Juno Award for Single of the Year.[17]

The band's fourth studio album, Rattlesnake, was released on March 29, 2019. On April 3, 2019, the band performed the album's first single, Salvation, on Late Night with Seth Meyers.[18]

In September 2019, the Liberal Party of Canada adopted the band's song "One Hand Up", which originally appeared on Rattlesnake, as their campaign anthem for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's campaign. The deal included the band producing another version of the song in French. The French version was believed by some to have been Google Translated from English to French, and while the band did not confirm or deny the report, they did record a new version of the song.[19]



Name Peak chart positions


My Father and the Hunter
We Still Move on Dance Floors
Hope 3 129 143 47 68 98
  • Released: March 29, 2019
  • Label: Glassnote
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • The Strumbellas (2009)


Year Song Peak chart positions Album




2016 "Spirits" 23 5 4 5 64 18 11 18 9 1 Hope
"We Don't Know" [A] 20
2017 "Young & Wild"[30]
2018 "Salvation" [B] 22 Rattlesnake
2019 "I'll Wait" 37
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


  1. ^ "We Don't Know" did not enter the Flanders Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 10 on the Ultratip chart.[21]
  2. ^ "Salvation" did not enter the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, but peaked at number 23 on the Canadian All-format Airplay chart.[31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient/Work Result Ref
2013 Juno Awards Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group The Strumbellas Nominated [32]
2014 Juno Awards Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group The Strumbellas Won [33]
2016 MuchMusic Video Award Best Rock/Alternative Video "Spirits" Won [34]
2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Artist The Strumbellas Nominated [35]
Alternative Rock Artist of the Year Nominated
Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist Won
Juno Awards Group of the Year Nominated [36]
Fan Choice Award Nominated
Single of the Year "Spirits" Won
Canadian Radio Music Awards Best New Group or Solo Artist: Mainstream AC Nominated [37]
Best New Group or Solo Artist: CHR Nominated
Best New Group or Solo Artist: Hot AC Nominated
Best New Group or Solo Artist: Mainstream Rock Won
Best New Group or Solo Artist: Modern Rock Won
Factor Breakthrough Artist Won
Canadian Independent Music Awards Single of the Year "We Don't Know" Won [38]
Songwriter of the Year "Spirits" & "We Don't Know" Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (May 11, 2016). "The Strumbellas Earn First Alternative Songs No. 1 With 'Spirits'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  2. ^ Fiorilli, Lisa (April 23, 2016). "Hope by The Strumbellas". Confront Magazine. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Strumbellas - My Father And The Hunter". Exclaim, February 26, 2012.
  4. ^ "Strumbellas up for Juno Award". Town Crier, April 5, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Strumbellas review in Now Magazine", August 19, 2010.
  6. ^ "Southern Souls", May 26, 2010.
  7. ^ "The Strumbellas Announce Debut LP 'My Father and the Hunter'". Exclaim!, December 20, 2011.
  8. ^ "The 2013 Juno Award nominations". The Globe and Mail. April 19, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Strumbellas Reveal 'We Still Move on Dance Floors'". Exclaim!, September 12, 2013.
  10. ^ " Capsule Podcast on Live in Limbo, April 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Billboard. May 21, 2016". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Billboard. May 28, 2016". Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Cantor, Brian. "The Strumbellas' "Spirits" Confirmed As iHeartRadio "On The Verge" Song". Headline Planet. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  15. ^ "The Strumbellas Perform "Spirits" On Stephen Colbert's "Late Show"". Headline Planet. April 21, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  16. ^ "Strumbellas, Sum 41 to headline at Heritage Classic". Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  17. ^ "Gord Downie wins three Junos at music awards gala dinner Saturday night". London Free Press, Lynn Saxberg and Peter Hum. April 1, 2017
  18. ^ "The Strumbellas: Salvation" YouTube, 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  19. ^ "Liberals to re-record French version of campaign theme song after hitting sour note Social Sharing". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  20. ^ a b c "The Strumbellas Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c "The Strumbellas albums (Flanders)". Ultratop. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "The Strumbellas albums (Walloon))". Ultratop. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "The Strumbellas Italian Charting". Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  24. ^ a b "THE STRUMBELLAS IN DER SCHWEIZER HITPARADE". Hit Parade. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  26. ^ "The Strumbellas France Charts". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  27. ^ "The Strumbellas German Charts". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  28. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 -".
  29. ^ "The Strumbellas Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  30. ^ "Alternative Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on January 27, 2017.
  31. ^ "The Strumbellas Chart History: Canada All-format Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  32. ^ Reserved., . All Rights (February 19, 2013). "Complete list of 2013 Juno Awards nominees". Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  33. ^ "Juno Awards 2014: The full list of winners". National Post. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  34. ^ "2016 MMVA Winners". Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  35. ^ "Here's The Complete List Of #iHeartAwards Winners | iHeartRadio Music Awards | iHeartRadio". iHeartRadio. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  36. ^ "Here Are the 2017 Juno Nominees". Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  37. ^ "2017 CRMA Nominees |2017 Canadian Music Week April 18–22, 2017". Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  38. ^ "Home - Jim Beam INDIES with INDIE88". Jim Beam INDIES with INDIE88. Retrieved April 20, 2017.

External links[edit]