Handsome Family

Brett and Rennie Sparks have been collaborating as The Handsome Family for over 20 years. With lyrics by Rennie and music by Brett, The Handsome Family infuse their singular art with everything from punk rock to folk, and have garnered extensive critical acclaim over the years. Of course, you don’t have to be a music historian to love the complexity of these songs. They are full of romantic longing for nature’s mysterious beauty and the tiny wonders of everyday life. They pair sweet melody with sad harmony, love poetry with dark beats. This music makes you shiver and cry, but also music that makes you happy to be alive.

The Handsome Family’s music and lyricism has always attracted intellectual and devoted fans. Their songs are frequently covered by many notable artists including Jeff Tweedy, Andrew Bird, Kelly Hogan, and Christy Moore. Their work has garnered praise from Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and an unnamed singer on American Idol.

For US booking information about The Handsome Family, visit the excellent people of High Road Touring.

Publicity provided by:

Sacks & Co.
Attn: Krista Williams
423 West Fourteenth Street, Suite 429-3F
New York, NY 10014


★★★★ Uncut

★★★★ Q

★★★★ Mojo

★★★★½ The Sun

“The pieces are highly intelligent and succinct. Certain facts from natural history, certain observations and things she [Rennie Sparks] reveals, read like a stumbling discourse one might fall into with a stranger and remember for a long while.” – The New Yorker

“A sound that spans many generations at once.” – NPR First Listen

“The Sparks plunge back into the woods where the trees rise wild for their latest, returning with 12 tales of mystery and imagination that form one of the strongest, most cohesive albums of their career.” – The Onion AV Club

“Yet another fantastic album, in every sense of the word.” – New York Music Daily


Honey Moon

★★★★ Uncut

★★★★ The Times

★★★★ The Sun

★★★★ Daily Mirror

“At the core of every great Handsome Family song is a sense of mystery, of a world that defies our ability to understand or predict it. That in itself is a beautiful thing, and why I find the duo’s music so powerful, and so moving.”—Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

“There’s a burnt beauty to Honey Moon – something akin to Mark Twain re-written by Edgar Allan Poe – that exerts a deliciously morbid pull on the imagination and the emotions. Satisfaction is guaranteed.”—BBC

Honey Moon is a warm, heartfelt tribute both to a clost-harmony style the couple evidently cherish, and to their own marriage.”—The Mail

“The songs on Honey Moon are just a gorgeously haunting as anything they have done previously.” —Blurt

MAGNET phoned Brett and Rennie Sparks at home, intending to discuss love songs; we were soon engaged on the topics of hillbillies, moths, swamps and toilets. Check out the interview, as well as The Handsome Family’s week of guest editing the site from Feb. 24 through Mar. 1st. Look for all 12 posts!

Discover their taste by reading Brett and Rennie’s Top 10 Favorite Murder Ballads on Aquarium Drunkard.

“Returning to American country some of its spiritual mystery — 4 stars.—The Independent (UK) on Last Days of Wonder

“Last Days of Wonder” might just be the duo’s finest hour, full of typically nightmarish images but shot through with black humour and moments of geniuine grace and beauty. It’s also their most musically adventurous album yet.—The Sun (UK)

Words that in their everyday surrealism have no parallel in contemporary writing…Music that mines the deep veins of fatalism in the Appalachian voice—Greil Marcus

This is music that moves forward by turning the clock back: haunting, primal and strangely heroic—The London Times

Interview with Rennie Sparks + Greil Marcus ahead of their free music n talkin’ appearance at UNC’s Southern Folklife Center. Murder! Mystery!

City Pages (Minneapolis) cover story on Brett and Rennie from 7/5/06 issue.

Nice feature on Last Days of Wonder from Country Standard Time.

4.5 out of 5 review for Singing Bones from Suite101.com.

Greil Marcus names Twilight as his number one pick in his Real Life Rock Top Ten at Salon.com

Robert Christgau raves as well in his Village Voice Consumer Guide

The Handsome Family built their own site.

Tour Dates