TICKETS ON SALE NOW – http://punkrockblues.co.uk
NEW ALBUM “UNSEEN” OUT NOW
Cult husband and wife band The Handsome Family will be joined on their European and UK tour by three of the most exciting emerging Americana artists in the scene right now. Supports will include label mates, mesmerising Spanish songstress Joana Serrat and incredible American world trotting singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. Also joining the tour is Cornish buzz band, blues and rock influenced three piece, William The Conqueror.
The Handsome Family’s tour will take in dates across the UK, including shows in Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton and London at the esteemed Union Chapel. The European dates will include cities Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin and Paris.
The tour will follow the release of their much anticipated studio album ‘Unseen’, which explores the unseen stories, people and places of the American west and received rave reviews from the UK national press including Uncut, The Sun and Mojo Magazine which said the album “is The Handsome Family’s masterpiece”.
For more information please visit: http://www.handsomefamily.com
Tickets on now on sale. Please visit to purchase tickets: http://punkrockblues.co.uk
Tour dates to include:
THE HANDSOME FAMILY 2017 (with supports)
9 Feb – AMSTERDAM, Bitterzoet + JOANA SERRAT
10 Feb – HAMBURG, Knust + JOANA SERRAT
11 Feb – BERLIN, Privat Club + JOANA SERRAT
12 Feb – MUNICH, Ampere + JOANA SERRAT
13 Feb – COLOGNE, Blue Shell + JOANA SERRAT
15 Feb – BRUSSELS, Botanique + JOANA SERRAT
16 Feb – PARIS, Divan Du Monde + JOANA SERRAT
18 Feb – CARDIFF, The Globe + WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR
19 Feb – LEAMINGTON SPA, Assembly + WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR
21 Feb – NORWICH, Arts Centre + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
22 Feb – MANCHESTER, RNCM + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
23 Feb – GLASGOW, St Luke’s + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
24 Feb – EDINBURGH, The Caves + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
25 Feb – GATESHEAD, Sage 2 + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
27 Feb – LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
28 Feb – BRISTOL, St George’s
2 Mar – LONDON, Union Chapel + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
3 Mar – BRIGHTON, Concorde 2 + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
4 Mar – FOLKESTONE, Quarterhouse + WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR
“Unseen is The Handsome Family’s masterpiece”
“Beguiling tenth album from American husband and wife duo”
“love, harmony and poetry bind in a brilliant way to obscure beats”
ROLLING STONE FRANCE
“You’ve never heard anyone like The Handsome Family, and you never will. Comparisons to any other are futile. Grab this one up and you’ll wear it out.”
FARCE THE MUSIC
“Beautifully atmospheric late night listening”
“Singular alt country duo at their Gothic finest with songs filled with ghosts, wonders and mystery”
“Common wisdom holds that the duo’s finest album is Through The Trees. It may be time to revise that. Look and listen.” FOLK RADIO
“Ten songs to woo you, attractive and amorous, some might say ‘andsome”
“Sublime… immerse yourself in something ‘other’, something dark and beautiful and beyond compare”
“Two million YouTube hits later and Rennie and Brett are back with an exquisitely recorded album of midnight dark American folk music, enigmatic and fantastic tales of coyotes, cicadas, sunsets and the reflection of the moon on water.”
More about the album:
Unseen with its unique mix of country instrumentation and intriguing surrealist lyricism, explores the unseen stories, people and places of the American west, where The Handsome family live – in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ‘Unseen’ shines a light on the obscure and forgotten.
The album’s first single, ‘Gold’, recently released to rave reviews and support from streaming services such as Spotify (New Music Friday Playlist UK) is a modern classic murder ballad set against a backdrop of “wide empty streets, the air shaking with heat.” ‘Gold’ paints intense images of a protagonist, with snake tattoos, a ski mask, and gun shot wounds – all the result of feeling “hungry to do something mean”. The first track on the album – ‘Gold’ 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.
In 2015 Rennie and Brett Sparks saw their song ‘Far From Any Road’ about “fire ants on their drive way” picked by American actor Matthew McConaughey to be the theme tune to the HBO TV smash hit: “True Detective”.
Rennie Sparks describes an event that personified the band’s strange experience of being propelled into a surreal state of limbo by their post True Detective fame, when she miraculously disappeared in an airport. Rennie stated: “At the height of True Detective S1 excitement I disappeared one afternoon while waiting for a flight at O’Hare. A middle-aged businessman, McDonald’s bag in one hand, rolling-bag handle in the other — walked up to me and, without pause, turned and sat down on my lap. A second later his French fries and rolling bag were on the floor and he was sputtering apologies, insisting he’d seen an empty chair. This strange invisibility felt similar to the night Brett and I watched the series in our little house in Albuquerque, feeling oddly alone. I have learned to embrace my power to vanish. As a songwriter you have to be willing to disappear and let your songs outshine you in order to embrace points of view bigger than your own. It was great that a song written about ants in my driveway became a song about cops in Louisiana. That’s the best any songwriter can hope for. ”
And so Rennie happily remained invisible, even as the band became visible to millions, with Youtube counts for The Handsome Family’s ‘hit’ song climbing to twenty million and more. The song was in the top 10 in US and UK Spotify charts and spent months in the iTunes top 100 in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, South Africa, and the Ukraine.
‘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. ‘Unseen’, an epic western gothic masterpiece, draws from real life events. ‘Gold’ began when a bunch of twenty-dollar bills blew in Brett’s face in a parking-lot dust storm. ‘Gentlemen’, is a tribute to William Crookes who built the first vacuum tube in 1875, hoping to detect spirits from unseen dimensions. Many tracks fix around the idea that light that emanates from things we can’t see — 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”).
‘Unseen’ was recorded by Brett at his home studio at night – “with only hawk moths listening”. It features a rich tapestry of instrumentation, which conjures images of the magical landscape of the Sparks’ New Mexico surroundings. David Gutierrez plays mandolin on “Tiny Tina” and dobro on “The Silver Light.” Alex MacMahon: guitar on “The Silver Light,” baritone guitar and pedal steel on “Gold.” Jason Toth: drums throughout (except “Green Willow Valley”). Rennie wrote all the lyrics. She sang and played banjo and autoharp, but “didn’t bother to write down on which songs.”