rennie & brett sparks

Far From Any Road
The Handsome Family
Far From Any Road

From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows

hidden in the branches of the poison creosote.

She twines her spines up slowly towards the boiling sun,

and when I touched her skin, my fingers ran with blood.

Married couple Rennie and Brett Sparks have been making songs together as The Handsome Family for 21 years. In 2014 they gained much wider fame when their haunting song, “Far From Any Road”, became the theme for the first season of HBO’s True Detective. The duo’s dark, surreal lyrics come from Rennie, and the music, which draws from country music and church hymns, is written by Brett. Their latest album, Unseen, is based on their experiences living in desert southwest.

Rennie tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross that she often has a different notion from her husband of what the music will sound like.

“He’ll come back singing these words in a very different way, and bringing a whole different mood to them,” Rennie says. “That’s part of the excitement of working with him.” For Brett, this musical mind-meld is “almost like a third person is writing the song.”

Rennie makes no apologies for the often macabre nature of her lyrics, “You know, it’s catharsis; it’s a safe place to experience really terrifying things. And that’s what art is for.”

For The Handsome Family, Music Is A Safe Place To Express ‘Terrifying Things’

Photo: Cred.  Meow Wolf