Wild animals, tall tales, and folk-lore from American history populate Wilderness – the 9th studio album from New Mexico’s Handsome Family. Recorded at home in Albuquerque and at the Wilco Loft in Chicago it’s a record that finds husband & wife duo Brett & Rennie Sparks blending Appalachian holler, psych-rock and Tin Pan Alley inspired melodies to conjure up a world where David Attenborough meets David Lynch in a Honky-Tonk bar at midnight.
And what songs they are. They have been feted by the likes of Ringo Starr and covered by artists such as Jeff Tweedy, Cerys Matthews, Christy Moore and Andrew Bird. In a career that spans twenty years they’ve toured the world in their own charmingly DIY fashion – one car, one hotel room, one stage…. night after night after night – and in that time they’ve performed as a duo, with a band and have had onstage collaborations with such folk-royalty asEliza Carthy, country legend Charlie Louvin and indie-kings like Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker. In each and every instance they’ve more than held their own, thanks in the main to their songs – a series of unique and wondrous compositions that, as Jeff Tweedy once said, are the “product of two beautiful brains”.