Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse present... Dark Night of the Soul

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse present... Dark Night of the Soul
When Dark Night of the Soul was unofficially released last year ― legal troubles caused the limited-edition version of the album to come with a blank CD-R whose point was to have the digital album burned onto it ― it was already a gloomy funereal album, but in the wake of Mark Linkous's passing, it's only taken on added weight. Even the tracks featuring guests with usually jubilant or coolly indifferent voices sound positively devastated. Wayne Coyne and James Mercer's lofty tenors suddenly sound lonely amongst the sparseness and smothering clatter of their respective songs, while even Julian Casablancas and Iggy Pop's more upbeat numbers are stuck in minor key gloom. The two complement each other nicely though. For Danger Mouse, Dark Night of the Soul represents some of his most engaging production to date, while Mark Linkous's songwriting has never sounded so forceful. Of course, Dark Night of the Soul is still a pop album at its core, but the album's highlights, like the bone chilling, David Lynch-featuring title track, are expansive and cinematic, hallmarks that songs of the genre exhibit all too rarely.

What was working with Mark like?
Danger Mouse: It was difficult, actually. I usually work pretty instinctively and quickly, and Mark has always been very detail-oriented. [Mark works on] getting a specific sound, but I'm used to concentrating on the songwriting and making sure the parts are a certain way, even though sound is obviously a big part of what I do. Basically, we had different ways of doing what we do, but I didn't want him to change what he did, because I liked what he did, and he didn't want me to change what I did, because he liked what I did. So we just had to work it out.

Does the album release feel a bit like a tribute to Mark?
Well, I guess I don't really look at it that way, just because we lived with the record. It's been done for a while, so both of us got to enjoy it. He was really proud of it and so am I, but he knew it was coming out back in January ― that's when we found out it would come out in June or July ― so he was really excited about that. I hope a lot of people hear it, but even more so, I hope that people go back to the Sparklehorse catalogue, because his albums were pretty amazing. (Capitol/Lex)