Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Country Couple's Misery Makes Y'all Feel Better

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Country Couple's Misery Makes Y'all Feel Better

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMYTH

"THIS is a song about how God is on your side, but it's also about being psychotic," said Rennie Sparks with deadly bathos as she introduced I Know You Are There, one of many songs last night to delight in concerning itself with the dark underbelly of everyday life.

She works with husband Brett as the Handsome Family, Rennie providing the sweetly morbid lyrics, while he writes the music and sings in a booming voice that gives lines like "Sometimes I can't wait to come down with cancer" a suitably chilling edge. The pair are now on their fifth album of dysfunctional country that sounds as though it was written by an inbred banjo player from the Appalachians, although in fact they have rather less traditional credentials.

Rennie is a native New Yorker, Brett a Texan, and they lived in downtown Chicago for 12 years until a

recent move to New Mexico. They write their music on less than customary folk instruments such as Pro Tools and a Macintosh G3 computer. …

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