Songs That Inspired The Strumbellas’ New Album Hope

The Strumbellas have seemingly come out of no where to take over the pop world. With their infectious tracks, it’s easy to see why they’re becoming the next hot radio band. With the release of their debut Hope today, we asked them to make a celebratory playlist of tracks they listened to while recording the record. It’s an incredible mix of lyrical brilliance and pop bangers — both of which fit right at home with their sound. Check out the playlist below and be sure to listen to Hope now!


Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball

The motto for the whole album was to replicate the first instrumental drop in the chorus of “Wrecking Ball”. Whenever we did an instrumental drop, I would call the producer and say “is it as big as wrecking ball? Cause if not, we have work to do.”

Blind Melon – Soup

The straight forward, dark-themed lyrics for this record are something I learned from Shannon Hoon. Before him, I didn’t realize you could say stuff like ‘and I’ll pull the trigger and I’ll make it all go away’ and be so personable in your lyrics about yourself. Shannon’s lyrics have probably been my biggest inspiration.

Sinead O Conner – Nothing Compares 2 U

It was the string sounds on this song that I was trying to get for a lot of this record. That really full and sad string vibe. I think we ended up using an old Roland Juno to replicate it. In the end, I’m happy with what we achieved and that it’s almost like a synth inspired version of Sinead O’Connors song.

Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

In our song “Shovels and Dirt” we hired a singer in the same vein as the female vocalist in “Gimme Shelter” to really belt out the end chorus. And then in the mixing stage I got in a real bad mood one day and forgot to ask the producer to crank it up in the mix, so now it’s barely there. It’s probably my biggest regret of the record.

Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

Let’s just say I’d be a lot more scared to talk about my personal stuff on this record if it wasn’t for this song.

Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)

You’ll probably hear a lot of eighth note piano and group vox on our record. That’s basically because of the song “Rebellion (Lies)”. This song is a huge inspiration for me as a writer. They crushed it. A near perfect song.

Avicii – Wake Me Up

This song is maybe the most influential of the record. I had never heard anyone drop a kick drum on a country guitar riff like this song before. This song helped me believe that maybe the folk melodies I wrote could somehow make it to pop radio one day.

Katy Perry – Firework

I listened to pop music religiously for 6 months before making this record. One thing I noticed was that if you want to create a big drop, you need to create a pre-chorus that empties out before that big drop. “Firework” is pretty much the perfect example of this, and it was something we tried to replicate on this album. In a way, our record is kind of like a poorly done pop record that somehow became it’s own weird pop/folk vibe. And in the end I’m even more happy with that.

Alt-J – Tesselate

This song was a big reason I wanted to try and write music that wasn’t super acoustic guitar driven. Somehow our album still ended up with a lot of acoustic guitar, but it wasn’t supposed to. It was supposed to sound like this song. I just really think Alt-J created a simple masterpiece with this song.

Bryan Adams – (Everything I do) Do It for You

“(Everything I do) Do It for You” was a song I listened to a lot for it’s thick sounds. I like big and layered sounds, so whenever we did strings and piano parts, I always thought about this song for it’s lushness and general emotional mastery.

Thanks Squarespace!