As a band propelled instrumentally by banjo and mandolin, folk is forever in their sonic makeup, but their booming beats often split the difference between EDM and hip-hop, while Akers' penchant for headliner-sized hooks puts their choruses in league with the likes of Kings of Leon and Imagine Dragons. But we grew up listening to just about everything between the three of us. At the midpoint of Judah and the Lion's varied musical and lyrical interests lies a perhaps unlikely sweet spot: sports soundtracking. I ended up writing an email [to them about the album], and just going, 'This is kind of like my side of the story, and blah blah blah. And I just started crying, just tearing up. And of course, the trio couldn't resist putting Judah's mom in the hook of one of their most stadium-ready sing-alongs yet: "Don't Mess With My Mama," whose title along with a mega-drop comprises basically the entirety of the song's chorus.
Judah and the Lion was a folk band that became a club-folk band, a genre that did not exist until the group invented it. In separate phone interviews, Akers and banjo player Nate Zuercher charted their journey from earnest young folk act to still-pretty-earnest folk-hop stars. The following is an edited version of that conversation:. Akers was a star baseball player at Belmont University in Nashville when he met Zuercher and his friend Brian Macdonald, who were studying the banjo and mandolin, respectively.
The band is made up of Judah Akers vocals, guitar , Brian Macdonald mandolin, vocals , and Nate Zuercher banjo, vocals. The original members of the band met while attending Belmont University in Nashville. It reached No. The band released their debut full-length studio album, Kids These Days , on September 9, ; it entered Billboard ' s Heatseekers chart at No. The album reached No. The album's sound was a mix of Americana, club pop, and hip-hop, which was polarizing to some of their longtime fans. The single was certified gold in September  and platinum in October Cobb recorded the songs in a series of quick takes, aiming for performances that sounded real and raw rather than polished and perfect. The recording was completed in two weeks.