Mini Bio

Terrible Sons is the moniker for the folk output of songwriters and musicians Lauren and Matt Barus.  The pair live with their two children in a small intentional community in Ōtautahi, New Zealand. Their music reflects their local neighborhood while exploring the interior life we all share: love, exhaustion, hope, heartbreak, loneliness, joy. Lauren has released albums as LA Mitchell and currently is a part of the Fly My Pretties family. Matt founded pop/rock band Dukes who had a top ten hit with Vampires and of note toured with and wrote songs for Blondie.

Terrible Sons emerged after the couple had children and sought a less obtrusive way of making music. They built a small, home studio and invited friends over. Taking their cues from folk tradition and a love for the close harmonies and production flourishes of Simon and Garfunkel, the duo blend their voices, backed with spare piano and acoustic guitar. An early single Tears Don’t Fall gained millions of listens on Spotify and the duo were signed remotely to Vancouver’s Nettwerk Records. Terrible Sons, working alongside producers Ben Edwards and then Tom Healey, and their go-to rhythm section of Jo McCullum and Jo Barus, have released four EP’s to date and their debut LP The Raft Is Not The Shore was recently unveiled on April 28th.


What People are saying about Terrible Sons: 

"Tasteful without being tepid, its members have spun personal stories, and possibly their feelings for each other, into stately, easily accessible folk-pop. On their debut The Raft is Not the Shore, the highlights for me are the most vulnerable moments, like the tender chorus in the opening track ‘Birdsong’." - RNZ

"Cinematic in Yelling in the Wilderness, traditional and contemplative on Birdsong, celebratory and joyous with Alright Alright, Terrible Sons usher us into a new era of Aotearoa-influenced alternative folk with an album of masterfully crafted folk and pop songs." - NZ Herald 
"The Christchurch husband-and-wife folk duo have been quietly taking over the world, one stream at a time." - Viva Magazine
“Terrible Sons makes music that’s quite tender, almost fragile. It's steeped in folk traditions and sometimes, like on their song ‘What a Friend’, it's quite breathtaking." - Tony Stamp, RNZ The Sampler
"The EP Mass is honest and beautifully crafted." - James Belfield, Waiheke Weekender
"Mass is a stark, quiet collection of deeply romantic songs that hark back to the sweeping indie glory of Kings of Convenience and Feist. It’s the kind of music that feels destined to soundtrack the idiosyncratic indie cinema of the mid-2000s. It’s luscious, organic and so, so intimate.” - Tone Deaf
“Terrible Sons craft songs like complex beautiful dioramas constructed from the emotional stuff of life.” - American Pancake

"Terrible Sons perform songs that are deeply humane and replete with compassion and solidarity.This was one of the year's exquisite gigs." - Robin Kearns, 13th Floor