Now that Mumford & Sons have ditched the violins in favor of electric guitars, there’s a void for a melodic, folk-leaning rock band. Enter the Strumbellas, a Canadian troupe that is experiencing its first taste of success in America.
Their catchy single “Spirits” rises to No. 12 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart this week, nestled in between mainstream rock superstars Coldplay and Elle King. The track carries a strong Lumineers vibe with its chant-along chorus, “I got guns in my head and they won’t go / Spirits in my head and they won’t go / But the gun still rattles / The gun still rattles.”
While the title of “Spirits” could hint at some sort of spiritual meaning, Strumbellas singer Simon Ward said in a recent interview, “Basically the song is about fighting your inner demons. Trying to change and become a better person in life. I write songs to reflect where I’m at in life, and this song is me saying to the world that I’m doing my absolute best right now to be a good person.”
Ward created the chorus one day while fooling around on the guitar, and when he played it for the rest of the group, they liked it and encouraged him to get to work composing the rest of the track. “To be honest, ‘Spirits’ is a mish mash of four different songs I was working on at the time,” Ward said. “I pulled various parts from different songs I was working on and after many trials and error, we finally had a song.”