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Singing Bones

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Album Review

The Handsome Family's unique take on traditionalist country finds another fine platform on 2003's Singing Bones. Husband-and-wife team Brett and Rennie Sparks explore dusty, melancholic territory — both musically and lyrically — by combining a taste for rootsy, old-school country (for which Brett's resonant baritone is perfectly suited) with literate, evocative, image-rich lyrics. Singing Bones finds all these qualities in place. Scenes and characters float through vividly drawn settings ("24-Hour Store," "Whitehaven"), while the instrumentation, arrangements, and ambience conjure dark forests and backwoods ghosts. As old-world as the Handsome Family might seem, there is an incisive, contemporary sensibility to everything, from the gleaming production to the perfectly chosen words. Singing Bones once again proves again how the group can seamlessly bridge the gap between present and past.

Customer Reviews


Came this way looking for the title song for “True Detective” but found the whole album full of atmospheric, dreamy songs. Great voices and harmonies. I’m very happy.

New detective theme tune

Love the variety and depth of voices.

Brilliant album!!

Came across this beautiful album whilst searching for the sound track to the true detectives! Entire album is effortless, haunting,beautiful & just takes you places. Totally inlove


Formed: Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Husband-and-wife duo the Handsome Family has been labeled both alt-country and traditionalist, but truthfully their often-dark music lies in a unique space somewhere in between, blending the sounds of traditional country and bluegrass (and, especially, murder ballads) into a more modern scenery. Vocalist and composer Brett Sparks hails from Texas, where he studied music and briefly worked around the oil rigs. By the mid-'90s, he resided in Chicago with his wife Rennie Sparks, a fiction writer originally...
Full bio
Singing Bones, The Handsome Family
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Customer Ratings