A Couple Shovels and a Length of Rope

I checked my email not too long ago, and I received a free sampler from two bands about to go on tour together: Dawes and Shovels & Rope. I enjoyed Dawes, but I went nuts for Shovels & Rope, half of today’s Sunday Sounds.

The husband and wife duo hail from Charleston, South Carolina and have been touring together since 2010. Previously, wife Cary Ann Hearst performed as a solo artist, while husband Michael Trent played in The Films. They made a record together entitled Shovels & Rope, “a pretty good record featuring several murder ballads where some characters were hanging and others were doing the burying.” The title was appropriate, and so they adopted it as their moniker. They made their TV debut on Late Night with David Letterman this past January, and the Deluxe Edition of 2012’s O’ Be Joyful was released this past Tuesday. They’re starting to gain some good momentum, and they’ll be touring all summer, including stops at Lollapalooza and Osheaga. I’m stoked, and you should be too.

Speaking of stoked, take a listen to some of these tunes! One of my personal favourites, “Tickin’ Bomb,” starts off with snare hits and a nice gritty riff before incorporating some wonderful vocal harmonies and a subtle but effective horn section to boot. It speeds up for a piercing, awesome trumpet solo and the husband-wife dynamic adds the perfect amount of sweetness and heartfeltedness. Sometimes real words just don’t describe things accurately. Another excellent track is “Birmingham,” with an equally excellent music video directed by The Moving Picture Boys.

They’re rootsy, garagey, folksy, rocky, and country-ish. They’re Shovels & Rope, and you should be listening to them.

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