This week on the table on music is Shovels & Rope. This is an epic husband and wife duo who at the beginning of this month released their brand new album Little Seeds. This album is full of personal sounds and powerful tunes which really gives for a mixed EP. This type of style really suites them as they are amazing story tellers and have such an amazing way with words as every story told on this album, unlike their previous ones, is based on true experiences. This only adds to the drama of the album and gives it that little extra kick. But you may think to start with that the songs are all so depressing and have no real happy element to them but they are true experiences of their lives along with a little dark humour. It is a real representation of life in the modern world put in a more country style.
First up is track one and my favourite track out of all of the album, I Know. It’s got that classic country twang within the vocals with added drama and a very rocky guitar and drums combination. I love this ‘hazy’ sound the guitar has and the vocals as well as it gives it a more retro feel. This really gives the song more power and umph. This song style also reminds me a lot of Status Quo, one of my favourite classic rock bands, with the more predominate guitar and deeper drums. Sticking with the more personal theme with this album this song is full of personal experiences which I really do love. It gives I Know a more meaningful yet relatable feel to it hence why it’s my favourite.
Now moving onto track three there is a completely different style over here within the song St. Anne’s Parade. It very much reminds me of Passenger with the more acoustic set yet with a more Shovel & Ropes style of lyrics. It feels like you shouldn’t be listening to this song as it sounds so much like a personal ballad which the couple wrote with one another for one another. It’s such a beautiful song that can really get to the most emotionally strong minded people. It really makes me think about relationships and how some work out and others don’t. It is such a mind blowing song that can make you smile in the happy times and cry in the sad times. Not many songs can do that but this one sure can do.
After The Last Hawk which is full to the brim with personal experiences its track 5, Buffalo Nickel. This is one of the more intense kick ass songs full of passionate drama and deep almost sexy guitar with a hint of grunge. This sort of song style really gets you going because it’s got so much to say that listening to it several times in a road really is mandatory. It really is a completely different style to the last few songs but that’s what I love about it. It’s still carrying the country flag but with an added rock and roll twist which gives it a whole new meaning as a song and makes it more theatrical as a song. The more intense songs on this album really do give you a break from the high tense emotional acoustic songs.
Next up on from Mourning Song is a little song called Invisible Man. Now this song is all about Alzheimer’s disease which is a really rather dark and taboo subject for some but these guys throw themselves right into it all. And I have to say they are pretty darn good at it. They take a more humours and rock based approach to the topic which I really love. In a way it’s a rather cute song about forgetting the most basic things about yourself and yet still being yourself. I really do love it partly for its daring ways but also because it is a really catchy tune. Its full of passion and dramatic guitar. Its defiantly one to listen to when you want a happy yet slightly sad song!
Following on from that its track 9 with Missionary Ridge which brings it all back down to the original country twang these guys started out with. The more acoustic and passionate side of this song really gets you going. There is something so simple yet so complex and scary about this song with its accents and plucks. Listening to this song makes everything seem a lot calmer and more down to earth with its more relatable lyrics. That is something that within this album they have stuck to well and it really makes it all more personal. It also increases the drama not just within this song but the whole album as you never know what happened to them and what they witnessed themselves.
BWYR is the one song, I would say, that really hits home no matter who you are. It’s a song all about racial equality and how that effects everyone no matter who you are. Its so full of passion and meaningfulness that it’s a song that you can’t skip without feeling bad about it. BWYR is a really haunting song that makes you think for a second about race and racial equality within your country and how its viewed. Not only is the vocals haunting but so is the subtle guitar playing quietly in the background. This creates so much tension and performance that it helps create the perfect atmosphere for a topic such as this. This is definitely one of those unskipable tracks.
To wrap up this little review I’m going to finish on the last track 13, This Ride. It really sums up the whole album and the type of message Shovel & Ropes wanted to get across throughout it. It reflects on the ups and downs and life and how they are presented within the modern world. It is played so beautifully on the guitar and sung by the duo with such love for what they do that this has to be one of my favourites on this LP. The passion and shear skill within this song really demonstrates to the listener what they are here to do and how they can do it in the best possible way.
Overall this album has the ability to send you on one hell of a rollercoaster within your own two ears. It is not one to just pick out the best songs and then leave along. You need to listen to the whole drama and passionate rollercoaster of the couple’s life over the past few years. All the personal experiences really do make it all the more relatable and to me that makes the distance between the singer and the listener all the more shorter. It is not an album to be taken lightly but is not an album to be taken too deeply. It is just right and it is beautiful.
Buy the album here: http://shovelsandrope.com/merch/
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