Unseen (The Handsome Family album)

Last updated
Unseen
Handsome Family - Unseen.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 16, 2016 (2016-09-16)
Genre Alternative country
Length42:06
Label Milk & Scissors Music, Loose Music
The Handsome Family chronology
Wilderness
(2013)
Unseen
(2016)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic 81/100 [1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [2]
PopMatters 7/10 [3]
The Line of Best Fit 6.5/10 [4]
Folk Radio UK(positive) [5]
Magnet 95/100 [6]
Blurt 4/5 [7]
Mojo 4/5 [8]
The Independent 4/5 [9]

Unseen is the tenth studio album by alternative country duo The Handsome Family. It was released in September 2016 by the band's own label Milk & Scissors Music, [10] and Loose Music in Europe.

Contents

In a departure from recent prior albums, the main duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks were joined by three guest musicians: David Gutierrez (mandolin and dobro), Alex McMahon (guitar, baritone guitar, pedal steel), and Jason Toth (drums). [11]

Reception

The album was well received by critics: according to Metacritic, the album has received an average review score of 81/100, based on 9 reviews, "indicating universal acclaim." [1] Justin Cober-Lake of PopMatters wrote that "Unseen continues the duo's gothic folk and country aesthetic," and noted that the recent high-profile success of the Handsome Family song "Far From Any Road," which was used as the theme song to the TV series True Detective , had not seemed to change the band's approach: "they still sing from the margins, crafting alluring characters and sounds. ... With all its soft unquiet, Unseen stands with the most captivating of the pair's previous work." [3] Joe Goggins of The Line of Best Fit felt that the album did not take enough risks, stating that "it’s on the cuts where there’s signs of progression that Unseen excels, not least because the duo pull them off with real nuance every time." [4]

Track list

All tracks are written by The Handsome Family.

No.TitleLength
1."Gold"4:00
2."The Silver Light"3:51
3."Back in My Day"3:30
4."Tiny Tina"4:10
5."Underneath the Falls"4:13
6."The Sea Rose"3:41
7."The Red Door"5:14
8."Gentleman"3:48
9."King of Dust"5:06
10."Green Willow Valley"4:33

Related Research Articles

Anti-Flag American punk rock band

Anti-Flag is an American punk rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The band is well known for its politically charged lyrics and activism, focusing on human rights and various left-wing causes. The line-up includes singer/guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic, who founded the band together; later members are guitarist Chris Head, and singer/bassist Chris Barker (#2) who replaced Jamie "Cock" Towns, who had replaced original bassist Andy Flag in 1997 following his departure one year prior. Anti-Flag is known also for their advocacy of progressive political action groups such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International. Most recently, the band has declared solidarity with the global Occupy Together movement.

M. Ward American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Oregon

Matthew Stephen Ward is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Portland, Oregon. Ward's solo work is a mixture of folk and blues-inspired Americana analog recordings; he has released ten studio albums since 1999, primarily through independent label Merge Records. In addition to his solo work, he is a member of indie pop duo She & Him and folk-rock supergroup Monsters of Folk, and also participates in recording, producing, and playing with multiple other artists.

<i>Elevator</i> (Hot Hot Heat album) 2005 studio album by Hot Hot Heat

Elevator is Hot Hot Heat's second studio album, released on April 4, 2005 internationally and a day later in the United States. It ranked #57 in Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005.

<i>Is There Love in Space?</i> 2004 studio album by Joe Satriani

Is There Love in Space? is the tenth studio album by guitarist Joe Satriani, released on April 13, 2004 through Epic Records. The album reached No. 80 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and remained on that chart for two weeks, as well as reaching the top 100 in three other countries.

<i>Mr. A–Z</i> 2005 studio album by Jason Mraz

Mr. A–Z is the second studio album by the American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, released on July 26, 2005. It is the studio follow-up to his first studio album Waiting for My Rocket to Come, released in 2002. Even with mixed reviews, it was a moderate commercial success and debuted at number 5 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart. It was recognized for mixing many different genres of music together.

<i>Long Road Out of Eden</i> 2007 studio album by Eagles

Long Road Out of Eden is the seventh and most recent studio album to date by American rock band the Eagles, released in 2007 on Lost Highway Records as a double album. Nearly six years in production, it is the band's first studio album since 1979's The Long Run. In between that time the band recorded four original studio tracks for the live album Hell Freezes Over (1994), "Hole in the World" for The Very Best Of (2003) and the Joe Walsh-penned "One Day at a Time" for the Farewell 1 Tour: Live from Melbourne DVD (2005), which Walsh later re-recorded for his 2012 album Analog Man.

<i>Era Vulgaris</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Queens of the Stone Age

Era Vulgaris is the fifth studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age. Recorded from July 2006 to April 2007, it was released on June 11, 2007 in the United Kingdom and June 12 in the United States, having been released on June 8 in other countries. The single "Sick, Sick, Sick" was released in May, followed by second single "3's & 7's" in early June, and third single "Make It wit Chu" in October. The album debuted at No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts, selling 52,000 copies in its first week. It reached top ten positions in other countries, such as No. 7 in the UK, No. 5 in Canada, and No. 4 in Australia. is the band's last album with Interscope Records

<i>Akron / Family & Angels of Light</i> 2005 studio album by Akron/Family and Angels of Light

Akron/Family & Angels of Light is a split album between New York band Akron/Family and Michael Gira's band Angels of Light. It was released on November 8, 2005, via Gira's own record label, Young God Records.

<i>Love Is Simple</i> 2007 studio album by Akron/Family

Love Is Simple is the third studio album by experimental rock band Akron/Family. It was released on September 18, 2007, on Young God Records.

<i>Cardinology</i> 2008 studio album by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

Cardinology is the tenth studio album by Ryan Adams, and fourth album with his backing band The Cardinals, released on October 28, 2008. The album completed Adams' contract with Lost Highway Records, and marks his final recording session with The Cardinals. Following the album's release and subsequent tour, Adams disbanded the band and entered a self-imposed hiatus until the release of Ashes & Fire, in 2011.

The Handsome Family

The Handsome Family is an alternative country and Americana duo consisting of husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks formed in Chicago, Illinois, and currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are perhaps best known for their song "Far from Any Road" from the album Singing Bones, which was used as the main title theme for the first season of HBO's 2014 crime drama True Detective. The band's 10th album, Unseen, was released on September 16, 2016, the first new release on the band's own label Milk & Scissors Music and through long-time label Loose in Europe.

Local Natives

Local Natives is an American indie rock band based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. The band consists of Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Matt Frazier (drums) and Nik Ewing (bass).

<i>Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of…</i> 2014 studio album by Andrew Bird

Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of... is American singer-songwriter Andrew Bird's eighth solo studio album. It was released on June 3, 2014 through Wegawam Music Co.

<i>Forever Sounds</i> 2016 studio album by Wussy

Forever Sounds is Wussy's sixth studio album. It was released on March 4, 2016, on Shake It Records in the United States and Damnably in the UK and Europe. The album reached number 20 on the Top Heatseekers album chart.

<i>Big Walnuts Yonder</i> (album) 2017 studio album by Big Walnuts Yonder

Big Walnuts Yonder is an indie rock album released in 2017 by the eponymous supergroup. Big Walnuts Yonder consists of bassist/vocalist Mike Watt from Minutemen, guitarist Nels Cline from Wilco, drummer Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, and guitarist/vocalist Nick Reinhart from Tera Melos.

<i>Beings</i> (Lanterns on the Lake album) 2015 studio album by Lanterns on the Lake

Beings is the third studio album by British indie band Lanterns on the Lake. It was released 13 November 2015 under Bella Union.

Fall Into the Sun is the fourth studio album by American band Swearin'. It was released on October 5, 2018 under Merge Records, and is the band's first album since reforming in 2017.

<i>Vitriola</i> 2018 studio album by Cursive

Vitriola is the eighth studio album by the post-hardcore band Cursive, released on October 5, 2018 on the band's own label 15 Passenger Records. The album is the first release from Cursive in six years, the first with original drummer Clint Schnase since 2006's Happy Hollow, and the first Cursive release to feature a cellist – Megan Seibe – since 2003's The Ugly Organ.

<i>Emotional Education</i> 2019 studio album by IDER

Emotional Education is the debut full-length album by English singer-songwriter duo IDER, released on 19 July 2019 through Glassnote Records. Emotional Education follows the 2017 release of the band's debut EP, Gut Me Like An Animal. The record, classified by Metacritic as pop rock, alternative rock and indie, was described by music critics as an exploration of "mid-20s melancholy".

Snapshot of a Beginner is the fourth studio album by Canadian indie rock band Nap Eyes. It was released on March 27, 2020, by Jagjaguwar.

References

  1. 1 2 "Unseen Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  2. Deming, Mark. "Unseen - The Handsome Family". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  3. 1 2 Cober-Lake, Justin (2016-10-04). "The Handsome Family: Unseen". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  4. 1 2 Goggins, Joe (2016-09-08). "On an understated tenth LP, The Handsome Family are content to stay in the shadows" . Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  5. Davies, Mike (2016-09-14). "The Handsome Family: Unseen" . Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  6. Poet, J. (October 29, 2016). "The Handsome Family: Unseen". Magnet. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  7. Zimmerman, Lee. "THE HANDSOME FAMILY – Unseen". Blurt . Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  8. Fyfe, Andy (2016-09-16). "The Handsome Family: Unseen". Mojo .
  9. Gill, Andy (2016-09-14). "Album reviews: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree, The Handsome Family - Unseen, and more". The Independent . Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  10. Ayers, Mike (2016-07-13). "Hear the Handsome Family's 'Gold' From Their Upcoming New Album 'Unseen' (Exclusive)". Wall Street Journal (Speakeasy blog). New York City. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  11. "Unseen". The Handsome Family. Retrieved 2020-07-31.