I first heard of Handsome Furs on that fateful night that I went to Steak 'N' Shake with Michael and we were listening to Album 88. Makes me wish I had kept listening all night long.
Anyway, Handsome Furs. This is apparently a side project of some guy from Wolf Parade and his fiance. I've never heard of Wolf Parade (or any of their fiances) but I did really like this album a lot. It's hard for me to describe their sound, it's not mellow or lush like I've described nearly everything that I've reviewed. Pitchfork calls it 'sparse and minimal' but I think it's got a lot more going on than that. I think 'minimal' and I think of some guy standing on a street corner who made a kazoo with a piece of waxed paper wrapped over a comb. That's minimal. Handsome Furs use synthesizers and drum machines. I guess there's a whiff of... um... industrial-ness to their songs. Grindy. Gloomy. Gray. I don't know. But it's worth checking out, at least as an antidote to all the mellow, laid-back stuff that came out this year.
"Handsome Furs Hate This City"
"Dead + Rural"
"Hearts of Iron"