Not yet reviewed.
"Gold" is a modern classic murder ballad that paints intense images of a protagonist, with snake tattoos, a ski mask, and gun shot wounds. The song's inspiration stems from a trip to the convenient store when "Brett went down for a six pack and came back with like $120 in $20 bills," explained Rennie. "He said there were $20 bills just swirling around in the air. He felt like it was his lucky day, but I, being a glass-half-empty kind of girl, immediately started worrying that someone was lying dead in a ditch. No one lets go of a fist full of money without a fight in this town." The track is the beginning of a journey taking the listener "past the last lights of town," driving us into the unknown, a place familiar to The Handsome Family.
Unseen continues The Handsome Family's embrace of things beyond easy view: the slow dive of the sun, enormous bugs awakening in thorny yards, sirens, and coyotes that cry out to the purple sky. An epic western gothic masterpiece, Unseen draws from real life events. "Gentlemen" is a tribute to William Crookes who built the first vacuum tube in 1875, hoping to detect spirits from alternate dimensions. Many tracks fix around the idea that light emanates from things we can't see, including behind "The Red Door" in the empty hands of blackjack losers ("The Silver Light"), and amidst desert bones bleaching in the sun ("King of Dust").
The album was recorded in the Sparks' home studio at night "with only hawk moths listening" and features a rich tapestry of instrumentation which conjures images of the magical landscape of the New Mexico surroundings. Guest performers on the record include David Gutierrez (mandolin, dobro), Alex MacMahon (guitar, baritone guitar, pedal steel), and Jason Toth (drums).
The Sparks have released 10 albums since 1995's Odessa. Their songs have been covered by artists including Jeff Tweedy, Amanda Palmer, and Andrew Bird (who released an entire record of Handsome Family covers). Guns 'N' Roses used "Far From Any Road" as stage entrance music for a South American tour and both Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr are fans.
|Primary Format - Music||CD|
|Artist||HANDSOME FAMILY, THE|
|Label||Milk & Scissors Music|
|Music Genre Primary||Blues & Roots|