The Handsome Family’s new record began with a scream in the night. “It was a bleak winter during the middle of the pandemic,” says Brett Sparks. “One night around 4 a.m. Rennie started screaming in her sleep. She screamed, ‘Come into the circle Joseph! There’s no moon tonight.’ Scary as it was, I thought, man, that’s a good chorus!”
The Handsome Family (songwriting and marriage partners Brett and Rennie Sparks) have been defining the dark end of americana for over 30 years. Brett writes the music and Rennie writes the words. Their work has been covered by many artists including Jeff Tweedy, Andrew Bird and most-recently Phoebe Bridgers. Their song “Far From Any Road” was the opening theme for HBO’s True Detective season one and still receives thousands of Shazams every week from all over the world.
Handsome Family songs take place under overpasses and inside airports. Historical figures like George A. Custer and Nikola Tesla appear alongside a flying milkman and the whisper of an air conditioner against a plastic tree.
Their eleventh studio album, Hollow (out Sep. 8, 2023) delves into the natural world at the edges of the man-made. It is a record lush with leaves and shadows and echoing with occult mystery.
“Bewitching in its weirdness, Through The Trees and its bonus CD of demos, live performances "and bickering" is almost comically unsettling, a unique fermentation of gothic country. Seven albums later the quality has rarely dipped, but this is where the magic first revealed itself.”
“Beguiling tenth album from American husband and wife duo”
'UNSEEN' - #47 BEST ALBUMS OF 2016
“a defining work by Brett and Rennie Sparks and an inescapably intense listening experience that excels in mood and storytelling. A tentpole release for the developing Americana scene back in the day… one of Americana's more eclectic records. To their credit, they moved the genre forward, paving the way for greater eccentricity and experimentation.”
THE LINE OF BEST FIT
'UNSEEN' - #5 BEST COUNTRY ALBUMS OF 2016
“love, harmony and poetry bind in a brilliant way to obscure beats”
ROLLING STONE FRANCE
“Rennie allowed her imagination to take hold and instead came up with a wild and wonderful tale of violent crime and small town justice. It’s what makes her such an amazing storyteller, and when accompanied by Brett’s sweeping orchestration, makes the duo such a solid and unique musical act.”
“Singular alt country duo at their Gothic finest with songs filled with ghosts, wonders and mystery”
“Common wisdom holds that the duo’s finest album is Through The Trees. It may be time to revise that. Look and listen.”
“Ten songs to woo you, attractive and amorous, some might say 'andsome”