The Handsome Family: Wilderness

Fri, Jun 7, 2013, 00:00



The Handsome Family

Loose Records


Brett and Rennie Sparks are no strangers to strange. The New Mexico-based couple’s albums flirt with the fantastic as Rennie’s lyrics and Brett’s ominous baritone conjure up a world of dark deeds and all-round weirdness. In recent work (including last album Honey Moon) their spell had begun to pall, but their ninth album reveals renewed pep. The collection inspired by selected denizens of the wilderness, ie the first three tracks are called Flies, Frogs and Eels. These are no simple odes to the natural world, no surprise given the duo’s past work. Against an inviting selection of roots music settings, ranging from country to bluegrass to folk and beyond, Brett savours his wife’s gothic imagination. Wilderness may require a few listens, but the payback is handsome indeed.
Download: Frogs, Woodpecker