Favorited ex.fm Songs

Sunday, August 5, 2012

This week in music (week of 7/31/2012)

I've been real busy lately studying for my massive exams coming up that I haven't had much time to post. I still don't, but I didn't want to miss my favorite album from this week, so here's a quick post to avoid that.

New release of the week - O' Be Joyful by Shovels & Rope

If it weren't for a particular confluence of events, this wonderful album may never have crossed my radar. A few weeks back, M. Ward released A Wasteland Companion, an iPhone app that shares the name of his most recent album. The app allows users to find independent / public radio stations by name or state. Once you find a station that tickles your fancy, you can stream it on the phone, favorite it for later, or visit its website. After downloading the app, I immediately "favorited" Seattle's KEXP, California's KCRW, and Minnesota's KCMP (aka The Current), all of which I know to be excellent stations. Since then, I've used it a few times to listen to these stations, which is a great addition to the many other ways I listen to music.

What does all of this have to do with the Shovels & Rope album that was released this week? Well, were it not for this new app, I may never have learned who they were. I happened to catch an interview by the duo while listening to The Current through the app a couple weeks ago. Thankfully I did because this album has just been steadily growing on me more and more each time I hear it.

Shovels & Rope is the moniker adopted by husband and wife folk duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. However, that description does not do the duo justice. You really have to listen to their music to get a sense of the energy, joy, and passion that they pack into their songs. If I recall from their interview on The Current, before they were married they used to play solo sets in South Carolina, backing each other's performances. At a certain point they realized it just made more sense to combine their musical forces rather than writing songs separately. While they've been performing together for a few years now, "O' Be Joyful" is their first album with the Shovels & Rope name. It is actually the name of their previous album that they recorded under their own names. You can check out the interview from The Current here if you're interested. If you'd rather just get straight to the music (which is understandable), here's the title track and my current album favorite. It showcases their ability to make a lot more noise and bring a lot more energy than you'd expect from the description of a "husband and wife folk duo":

Also, here's the lead track from the album for your listening / downloading pleasure:

Interested in checking out Shovels & Rope?

Band Website
Album on Amazon ($6.99)

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