58. The Handsome Family—THROUGH THE TREES

Brett and Renee Sparks have a great partnership—she writes the songs, he sings them, and they do the instrumentation together. Their music could be called quirky country-folk-rock-Americana. Or something like that. This record captures them at their best—especially in the lead-off track “Weightless Again” (the video I link to below of them playing that song is extraordinary) that shows off everything that is great about this band. The song is an amazing mixture of metaphors that all lead to heavy sadness and loneliness. And Brett nails the vocal. Most of the other songs on the record are just about as good—for example, “My Sister’s Tiny Hands,” “The Giant of Illinois,” and “The Woman Downstairs.”

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Carrot Top Records, 1998 [All-Music Guide reviews]

Here’s #57

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