Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, collectively known as Shovels & Rope, release their sophomore set “Swimmin” Time,” Aug. 26.
The set follows the husband and wife duo's highly acclaimed breakthrough, ‘O” Be Joyful,” a set of largely acoustic tales that featured their voices wrapping around each other and slithering in and out of stomping melodies, especially on the semi-autobiographical, “Birmingham,” which was named Song of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Awards.
One of the best tunes on “Swimmin” Time” is the swampy, dark “Evil,” a story about two misfits, a young tomboy and an older man, who is emotionally lost following the sudden death of his wife and an accident that leaves him brain damaged.
“The rough little girl takes pity on him and his children, bringing them apples, him, cigarettes and helping with the kids,” Hearst and Trent tell HitFix. “Their interaction raises suspicion in the small town, and the cops bring her in for questioning, perhaps with her damaged friend in custody, where she explains that they were helping each other, and that all they ever shared was their mutual loneliness. Alas, it is a story about a town with 'two Boo Radleys' who depend on each other to survive.” Hey, any tune that in any way references “To Kill A Mockingbird” works for us.