Alt-country titans The Handsome Family are set to release their 10th studio album, Unseen, their first since 2013’s Wilderness. The album will be issued via Virtual Label on September 16, and will feature the recently premiered single, “Gold”.
Unseen consists of 10 tracks, and furthers The Handsome Family’s enduring tradition of surrealist lyricism mixed with country instrumentation. The duo employed atypical production on the album, recording only at night in their home studio. Guest performers on the record include David Gutierrez (mandolin, dobro), Alex McMahon (guitar, baritone guitar, pedal steel), and Jason Toth (drums). A press release clarified the duo’s intentions behind the album.
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. An epic western gothic masterpiece, Unseen draws from real life events. “Gentlemen” is a tribute to William Crookes who built the first vacuum tube in 1875, hoping to detect spirits from alternate dimensions. Many tracks fix around the idea that light emanates from things we can’t see, including 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”).
The Handsome Family recently received unexpected popular attention after their 2014 song “Far From Any Road” featured as the theme song of True Detective’s first season. They have released nine albums since 1995’s Odessa, the majority of which have received widespread critical acclaim. Their work has been covered by artists including Jeff Tweedy, Amanda Palmer, and Andrew Bird.
- The Silver Light
- Back In My Day
- Tiny Tina
- Underneath The Falls
- The Sea Rose
- The Red Door
- King Of Dust
- Green Willow Valley