Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Label: Six Shooter Records
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. What about even if it aint broke it can always be better.
That was my reaction after couple of listens to We Still Move on Dance Floors, the latest offering from Juno nominated seven piece The Strumbellas. Their debut My Father and The Hunter was a pleasant collection of modern fusion of bluegrass and rock. Courtesy of bands such as Mumford and Sons and The Lumineer, this style has come into recent prominence. With this album, The Strumbellas are making a case to join that pack.
The band enlisted the help of Ryan Hadlock. This is the same man that was at the helm of The Lumineers’ Self-Titled debut release. The album was both a commercial and critical success, reasserting the notion that it is possible to be mainstream and not have to compromise on musicianship. All you need is little polish, and that is what you will get in We Still Move on Dance Floors.
The blend of banjo and violin with beautiful harmonies and gang vocals is damn near perfect.At no point do you feel the record being too country or too poppy. The instrumentation blends in better compared to the band’s debut. Nothing feels out of place. The mostly up-tempo tunes revolve around both hope and darkness. “In This Life” is optimistic (something for ya out there/ in this life). “Home Sweet Home” is a cute love tale (she means everything to me/ and I will keep her dry her and warm, while “End of an Era” is essentially a break up song (love is at the end of an era). Simon Ward’s vocals are a highlight, especially on “Ride On”.
The Strumbellas have stayed close to what they do best. Except they have managed to do it better. We Still Move on Dance Floors is more mass-friendly while staying true to the genre. Put your bluegrass/folk judgements aside and make room for them in your playlist.