“It’s not heavy metal, but in our guts, it feels a bit like Heavy Metal,” says Michael Trent of the band’s new album, Manticore, due Feb.18.
Next year, 2022, will mark ten years since Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent released their debut album O’ Be Joyful, the first formally billed as “Shovels & Rope. That decade included the release of six full-length albums, three collaborative covers albums (Busted Jukebox Volumes 1-3), a curated music festival in their hometown of Charleston, SC (High Water), a musical film (Shovels & Rope: The Movie) and countless dynamic live performances all over the planet.
But it was in the rear courtyard suite of the Decatur St. house belonging to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans where Michael and Cary Ann began polishing up the songs that became Manticore. Manticore was initially intended to be a stripped back affair. The songs were written with the expectation that they would feature almost nothing but acoustic guitar, piano and their two voices. But with the time afforded to the band by the complete stalling of their industry, they returned to the recordings and indulged the opportunity to expand the sound of the album with no pressures or expectations regarding the calendar.