Spun: The Strumbellas

By Sean Sullivan

The cover of the latest album from the Toronto band The Strumbellas is slightly misleading, but that shouldn’t be held against it. The giant, gold disco ball that is setting behind the mountain in place of the sun suggests an upbeat country-dance album, as does the album’s title, We Still Move On Dance Floors. It inspires images of line-dancing cowboys. That’s a far cry from what this album actually is.

The album probably won’t inspire anyone to get up and dance, though it may cause more than a few feet to tap in rhythm with the music. Rather, it is the type of upbeat, energetic music that’s great to listen to while driving.

We Still Move On Dance Floors is the second full-length album by The Strumbellas in two years. They were nominated in 2012 for a Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year — Group for their last album, My Father and The Hunter. The band’s new album, with their bluegrass-inspired sound, with acoustic guitar, banjo and violin, is a fun and enjoyable excursion into folk rock and country music. It’s reasonably pop-infused while still retaining its traditional folk influences.

In some ways, The Strumbellas are Canada’s answer to the popularity of British folk rock band Mumford and Sons — while not nearly as heavy handed with the banjo.

Much like a long drive in the summer, We Still Move On Dance Floors is soothing, uplifting and freeing. It kicks off with the track “Sailing” and carries the momentum throughout, building energy up until “End Of An Era.” The album carries that down through “The Long Road” and “Ride On,” finishing with the slower and calmer track “The Fire.”

The album is well worth a listen. Just don’t expect to want to get up and dance.


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