Release Date: Apr 14, 2009
Record label: Carrot Top
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Since releasing their first album in 1995, Brett and Rennie Sparks of the Handsome Family have built a cottage industry out of creating some of the most charmingly morbid songs in contemporary music; death, despair, alcohol, broken dreams, and dashed hopes are common ingredients in their songs, leavened with dark wit and dressed up in lovely, austere melodies and close Appalachian-flavored harmonies. But with Brett and Rennie celebrating 20 years as husband and wife, they decided to try something a bit different for their eighth studio album, and 2009's Honey Moon is a collection of 12 non-ironic songs about love. If you're expecting that this is going to be a bit sunnier than the usual offering from the Handsome Family, you're right, but that's not to say that odd little clouds don't appear on the horizon.
The eighth studio album by Albuquerque's Handsome Family commemorates the 20th wedding anniversary of Brett and Rennie Sparks, the band's two members. As such, it's an album of love songs, making it a departure from the Gothic Americana subject matter of past efforts, which, the joke goes, always included at least one dead body. [rssbreak] Though the songs, which effortlessly blend country, bluegrass, folk and pop, are mostly under three minutes long, no one's in a rush here.
Brett and Rennie Sparks have been recording together as the Handsome Family for 14 years now, but they've been married for 20. To mark their china anniversary, the couple are foregoing a retrospective of their seven studio albums (although they're certainly due) in favor of a brand-new Family album, fittingly titled Honey Moon. Rather than dwell on country gothic doom and despair, they've recorded all manner of love songs-- odes to sex, devotion, redemption, sacrifice, New Mexico, and more sex-- that are only slightly sunnier than their usual fare.
Having a successful marriage has to be one of the most rewarding joys we can share in life. Now, when you’re able to fulfill your craft through this partnership is surely another delight all on its own. Throughout their existence as a band, Brett and Rennie Sparks have made The Handsome Family a very lovable and loving enterprise. After fifteen years of making music they have now offered their next set of great, country-flavored music with Honey Moon.