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.”
YG has truly arrived this summer, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Last month he finally released his highly anticipated sophomore effort Still Brazy to glowing reviews. Then just two weeks ago he gave us a visual for the title track, one that saw he and his Compton crew dancing like no one (or everyone) was watching. Now YG has taken his crew to Tokyo for a deliriously giddy visual for “Word Is Bond.”
He brought along Slim 400 too, who delivers an ecstatic guest verse at the end of the track. Think about their trip as the opposite of the one featured in the contemporary classic Lost in Translation, where instead of melancholy we have YG, Slim, et al bouncing around the Japanese capital like its their personal bounce-house and they’re four bottles of sake deep.
The video also features laugh out loud funny Japanese subtitles with accompanying English translations, breaking down each one of YG’s bars into dictionary perfect explanations. We’re just jealous we weren’t along for the ride.