Go Swimmin’ with Shovels & Rope

Preview album available for folksy duo's upcoming release.

Save the date: On Aug. 26, southern-country-rock-bluegrass-folk duo Shovels & Rope releases Swimmin’ Time, the band’s second album. If  it seems sad to wait until the end of the summer to get a collection named after the warm-weather pastime, take heart: Shovels & Rope has offered a free head start with Swimmin’ Time Primer, a short mishmash of previous favorites, a song from the forthcoming album, and a few special additions.

Husband-wife duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent recorded together before they became Shovels & Rope: They released a collaborative album in 2008 called Shovels & Rope, then adopted the moniker for their act. They have a full and dogged two-person garage-folk sound, with Hearst’s voice reminiscent of a rougher, deeper-throated Miranda Lambert or Natalie Maines. Trent fills out with accompanying vocals.

Shovels & Rope is the kind of band that lets you know what type of wax it uses for its vinyls, and lets the music and lyrics speak for themselves. In fact, the couple produced Swimmin’ Time themselves, working out of their South Carolina home. Judging by the sound of “The Devil Is All Around,” their next album won’t disappoint fans of the first, and should be able to win over new fans, as well.

Swimmin’ Time Primer is available for free for an unspecified length of time at NoiseTrade.com: