Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Slow Runner releases 'XXX' song with Shovels and Rope

Digging into the Cary Ann and Michael archives

Posted by Paul Bowers on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

A few years ago, local indie pop band Slow Runner enlisted the help of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, the duo currently slaying barrooms nationwide under the banner of Shovels & Rope, to contribute vocals on a gentle little ditty about lovemaking. Yesterday, Slow Runner finally released the fruit of that collaboration, a lovelorn gem called "XXX," as a single.

click to enlarge 1350441172-slow1.jpg

On the Slow Runner blog, singer/songwriter Michael Flynn explains that while Hearst and Trent weren't performing as Shovels & Rope at the time, they were playing music independently, and they both came over to Flynn's apartment to lend some vocal tracks on a song he had just written. Flynn writes:

If memory serves, Cary Ann had had a long night and was a little hoarse and dare-I-say-it hungover. But she sang one of the most heartbreaking, intimate vocal takes I think I’ve ever heard. Michael jumped in on the "ooooh"s at the end, too. It was a cool moment and a reminder of how awesome it is to live in Charleston with so many talented and inspiring people.

Fast-forward to 2012, and Slow Runner decided to dust off the old track, which was never released. They scrapped everything from the original recording except Cary Ann and Michael's vocals and started over, adding what sounds like ukulele, piano, drums, and a lap steel guitar. In typical Slow Runner fashion, the result is brooding without being morose, slow-building without getting bogged down, and quirky without being too pushy about it. It's like a shoegazing Barry White song, and it's absolutely gorgeous.

The song is available for purchase via iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Sorry, Internet, the full song isn't available for you to listen unless you download it, but as consolation, here's a Slow Runner classic from their 2006 debut No Disassemble, which is set for a re-release with new B-sides, covers, and remixes in December:

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