I’ve been revisiting the many albums of The Handsome Family this week, having happily read about some long deserved commercial success for the married duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks with their track ‘Far From Any Road’ being a hit all over the world after it’s use in the soundtrack of HBO’s ‘True Detective’ series. I’ve got most of their records and enjoy them all, and have seen them live on several occasions, which is a great, and very funny with the dry onstage banter between them, experience. They are currently on tour over here which would be worth checking out if it hasn’t sold out on the back of this recent success.
The records are all consistently good, but I particularly like ‘Last Days Of Wonder’. The music itself is a mixture of lots of folk and country influences and the Harry Smith Anthology, with Brett’s wonderful George Jones like timbered baritone, singing about all sorts of weird and wonderful things, often to do with a the natural world and our relationship with it, with the lyric’s penned by Rennie, a gifted writer. Much is made of the weird, occasionally surreal, themes in the lyrics, but they equally write very affectingly about broken relationships and the more existential qualities in the mundane and ordinary. It was in fact such a song, ‘So Much Wine’ from the great ‘In The Air’ album that got me into them into in the first place many years ago, and took me to a rather dingy pub in Birmingham to see them live, and witness one of the most memorable gigs of my life. It turns out lots of friends I’ve since made were all there too. This great music brings people together…Here are a few links to enjoy: