Through The Trees
Through the Trees, the group's third album, is full of beautiful, hummable songs one imagines being performed by inebriated appalachians, sitting around a camp-fire hootenanny in, say, 1937, trying to see who'll crack up with laughter at their tale and who'll begin to cry. Their songs are populated by giants, drunks and generally mad folk who run around mythical forests, cathedrals and motel rooms, losing their minds, finding true love, living, dying. it'd be a crude understatement to rate the sparks among the most unique songsmiths recording circa 1998, and more appropriate to say they summon the spirit of American folk art about as well as anyone in the last quarter of the 20th century. Brett and Rennie Sparks make music that doesn't just evoke another time and place, but wholly different intentions of music making. The husband-and-wife team who are the Handsome Family brew up a distinctive musical concoction - folky, pre-war country music and moody, downbeat roots-rock, served in lush but minimalist arrangements - with a narrative feel that crosses Flannery O'Connor's gothicism and Monty Python's absurdities.
LP - 20th Anniversary Edition on Heavyweight Sky Blue Vinyl with Bonus CD featuring previously unreleased demos, instrumentals and live recordings..