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Shuffle: Kent Indie-Folk Band, The Speedbumps, Take A New Road

The Speedbumps

Kent-based indie-folk band The Speedbumps is ready to hit the road with a new album out Friday. “When The Darkness Comes” marks a different sound for the five-piece band.

For this week’s Shuffle, The Speedbumps’ Erik Urycki, Bethany Svoboda and Danny Jenkins talk about the recording process.

The Speedbumps has been Erik Urycki’s long-running project. The current lineup of musicians joining him has been together for the last three albums, including Friday’s release of “When The Darkness Comes.”

And like the last two albums, Urycki says they wrote and recorded at a cabin in northwest Pennsylvania.

Jenkins says the band cooked breakfast together, while Svoboda jokes that it took a lot of games of Farkle to pass the time. 

"Our family is here and what we draw on to write songs is here."

A different sound
Urycki says his songwriting process was a bit different for this album.

“I’m writing this record through 2016 and there’s obviously a lot things going on nationally and internationally. I tried to not be too topical, but it’s a new direction from what the Speedbumps has previously been."

He says each band member took a more involved approach.

"This is the first record where Danny (Jenkins) wrote all the beats for the album. It’s the first album where I played electric guitar on every song – no acoustic guitar. It’s the first album where Bethany (Svoboda) wrote harmony parts which are completely unique to any record we’ve ever made," Urycki says. 

Jenkins says the sound is still what Speedbumps fans are used to, but "cranked up a little bit more," with more cello and drums.

"The name of the album is symbolic of what it is," Svoboda says. "The other albums have seemed more bright, and this one seems more dark."

When The Darkness Comes
Credit The Speedbumps
When The Darkness Comes

Album highlights
Urycki says one of the first songs he wrote for the album is the first single, “Love is War."

"It set the tone that this is going to be a different album."

Svoboda loves the song “How Do We Work It Out.”

"It’s got a Kent reference in it, and I like lyrics and the melody and the drum beats."

Jenkins' favorite song is “The Chosen Sons.”

"It almost describes lyrically what’s going on in that song which I think is kind of neat."

The Speedbumps has seen some success, sharing the stage with bigger acts and national tours. But, Urycki scoffs at the idea of moving to Nashville to boost the band's career. 

“We are a northeast Ohio band. There are things about this scene that make being here difficult. We don’t have a major booking agency here. We don’t have a major licensing or publishing house here. But our family is here and what we draw on to write songs is here. So I’m not ruling out the possibly that we have to be in Nashville, but we are here.”

The Speedbumps play an album release show Saturday, July 22 at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern.