Handsome Family – Wilderness

Handsome Family
Loose Music

Brett and Rennie Sparks release a new album and suddenly the World is a better place

I’m the first to acknowledge that the Handsome Family are an acquired taste and, no matter what I say about this album, the majority of music fans (my wife included) will not like the music on offer. But, to those of us who do ‘get it,’ we will sit mesmerized by the dark and often weird tales of caterpillars , immortal jellyfish, flies and migrating wildebeest.

The sound that the Handsome Family creates is often (lazily in my opinion) described as ‘Southern Gothic,’ but when you listen to this album over and over again (which I recommend) you will hear elements of Psychedelia,  Traditional Folk, Indie guitar solos (of the highest order) and, more importantly, lyrics that are a mixture of the Beatles and Shakespeare in influence.

It’s pointless to try and dissect a song like Eels, just so I can tell you what a beautiful love song it is, because the title is going to put you off anyway if you’re not already a fan. But, if you aren’t, you are seriously missing out!

Owls is a delightful Country song, sung in a baritone voice so deep you can hear an echo in Brett’s throat, about  20-foot-tall Owls that steal his pills but end up making his ‘house a home.’

The harmonies on Woodpecker are simply glorious. What sounds suspiciously like a ukulele* is of Claptonian standards, and the song itself is as left-field as I’m ever going to hear, but I love it dearly.

It doesn’t take Einstein to work out that the songs on WILDERNESS aren’t to be taken too literally; but every now and again we all need a little bit of goofiness in our lives, don’t we? Well, I do, and the Handsome Family more than fill my quota every couple of years.

*what I thought was a ukulele is actually a mandolin – ref: comment from Mr. Sparks himself.


#Release Date 13th May 2013

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