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The Handsome Family

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Far from Any Road The Handsome Family 02:48
Far From Any Road The Handsome Family 02:48
Weightless Again The Handsome Family 03:38
Back in My Day The Handsome Family 03:30
The Lost Soul The Handsome Family 03:22
Gail With the Golden Hair The Handsome Family 03:16
The Bottomless Hole The Handsome Family 03:16
The Forgotten Lake The Handsome Family 03:46
Gold The Handsome Family 04:00
Dry Bones The Handsome Family 03:16

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Husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks are collectively known as The Handsome Family. Occasionally joined by other musicians such as Alex McMahon playing guitars and keyboard and Jason Toth playing guitars and synthesizers, they sing otherworldly tales, ghost stories and ballads written by lyricist Rennie who came to the band as a fiction writer. The band's first album 'Odessa' (1995) had a punk/rock feel to it, and did not garner much notice expect for the track 'Arlene' being banned from some radio stations because of its subject matter of a woman being beaten to death. The narrative of murder became one which the band used on several of their future tracks, which led the band to become known for their dark lyrics. Their second album 'Milk and Scissors' (1996) was much better received and became popular as they toured through the USA and Europe. Unfortunately at this time, Brett became ill and was hospitalised with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder after a breakdown. The band's third album 'Through the Trees' (1998) was written in the aftermath of this difficult period and showed the band's emerging individual sound. It received great critical acclaim and was voted as Best New Country Album of the Year by Uncut magazine. The album was such a success that Brett and Rennie left their jobs to concentrate on music full time.

The Handsome Family released their fourth album 'Down in the Valley' in 1999, followed by 'In the Air' in 2000, after which they embarked on another international tour. Over the next two years they released three more albums, 'Twilight' (2001), 'Smothered and Covered' (2002) and 'Live at Schuba's' (2002). The latter comprised songs recorded whilst on tour. Perhaps their most well-known album 'Singing Bones' was released in 2003, although its popularity was largely increased later in 2014, when the track 'Far from Any Road' was used as the theme music for the first season of 'True Detective'. After this many people became interested in the band and sales of all their albums increased.

In 2006, The Handsome Family released the album 'Last Days of Wonder', in 2009 'Honey Moon' and 'Scattered' in 2010. They continued to tour and perform throughout America and internationally. The album 'Wilderness' followed in 2013, and then 'Unseen' in 2016. Their songs have also been covered by several other artists including Jeff Tweedy, Jason Lytle and particularly Andrew Bird, who released a complete album of The Handsome Family cover versions in 2014.