Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of the alternative rock mastermind, Mark Linkous. Known largely for his work under the name of Sparklehorse, Linkous was a tortured soul who took his own life on this date last year and is sorely missed.
Prior to his death, I had very little exposure to his work, though in the year since I have spent many a day soaking up the wonderful body of work that he left behind.
The 1995 classic Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionsubplot, in particular, has become a standard play on my iPod. A sparse and terrifyingly open album, it charts Linkous battle with depression.
This is never more notable than on 'Sad & Beautiful World' - a painfully clear song that unfortunately became a reality when the sadness outweighed the beauty and forced Linkous to take his own life.
Last summer saw the release of an album that has become an epitaph not just for Linkous, but also for Vic Chesnutt who died a few months before. Dark Night of the Soul was a collaborative work produced with Danger Mouse and involving appearances from Julian Casablancas, Wayne Coyne, Frank Black, Jason Lytle, James Mercer, David Lynch and Vic Chesnutt.
A wonderfully varied work, the album has some moments of tremendous beauty and poise and is a fitting memory for Linkous, though I implore you to check out the earlier work with his name attached. Such beauty, such simplicity, such frailty - it is phenomenal.