MARCH 2019

Shovels & Rope

This month's ROTM is the newest album from South Carolina rock duo Shovels & Rope, By Blood, pressed on exclusive blue vinyl!

Shovels & Rope’s By Blood is a collection of songs that tell tales of vulnerability and humanity sung through gritty, raw, powerful voices. It's a cinematic journey with relatable and profound characters and stories. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have been making music together since 2011 and have toured relentlessly, making new music wherever they can, and their honest songwriting, captivating live performances, and unique sound have been entertaining audiences all across the world. Also included with this month’s edition is a digital download code of the album which will be emailed to you when By Blood releases on April 12.

We can't wait to share this album with you!

The Artists

Accomplished musicians in their own right prior to dedicating themselves full time to Shovels & Rope in 2011, [Michael] Trent and [Cary Ann] Hearst have made a career together by seizing opportunities and never resting on their laurels or being complacent in doing something just because. Carving out a niche in the music world with strong, roots/indie/folk/rock-inspired efforts like 2012’s O’ Be Joyful, 2014’s Swimmin’ Time, and 2016’s inward-looking Little Seeds, as well as their powerful live show, far-reaching tours, and myriad TV and festival appearances, Shovels & Rope have earned the right to follow their own muse. And so, in an effort to satisfy their numerous creative interests and adapt to a changing industry, Trent and Hearst have firmly planted their flag in realms beyond recording and releasing albums.

Trent and Hearst have learned to juggle their busy schedules by relying on each other as well as their team, and by seizing every chance for efficiency. They realized one such opportunity by building a modest studio at home, which is where they began to record By Blood in May of 2018. The new space in their back yard provides a sanctuary where their gear can remain at the ready, a luxury conducive to their creative process—especially when sharing a home with kids.

Photo by Curtis Millard

Photo by Curtis Millard

Photo by Todd Cooper

Photo by Todd Cooper

By Blood’s ten songs are vignettes that focus on vulnerable, human characters laid bare, while the textures are gritty, sweeping, and profound. These are tales of inherently good yet incomplete people whose faults are on the table in plain sight, a trait that endears the subjects to the listener and that the songwriters recognize in themselves.

First single “The Wire” is about accepting your own faults and learning to say you’re sorry.   It’s stylishly minimal verses and wall of sound chorus recall some raw, girl-group era drama as well as timeless rock and roll.  As the gorgeous, dark lullaby of the title track brings the album to its end, the beautiful, cinematic journey of By Blood has left its mark.

And so, bound by blood, by sweat, and by love—of creativity, craft, and family—Shovels & Rope are coming out swinging. From the bind in their band name itself to the shared life they have built from scratch, it’s clear that Trent and Hearst are in constant pursuit of their best selves—together.



Past Records Of The Month


"I think it's fun to get a new vinyl every month... sometimes it's an artist I've heard of, other times not, but the new artists I've discovered have become some of my favorites."

/  Robert, 2 year member  /