Shortly before he left us, Sparklehorse, aka Mark Linkous, wrote and recorded a complete album with the band that was not released while he was still around.
It was supposed to be Sparklehorse’s fifth studio album, and it was recorded alongside Steve Albini at his Static King music studio, work on the album came to a halt following the news of Linkous’ sudden death by suicide in March 2010.
Now, 13 years on, the musician’s brother Matt and sister-in-law Melissa have revisited the album and confirmed that they will be releasing it posthumously in his memory.
“It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever made”, said Matt on sharing the album. “It’s difficult making a choice about someone else’s art, even if you’ve known them all your life and worked with them, even if they were your brother and best friend. We had long conversations about not wanting to take this into a different direction. We wanted to bring out what was there.”
Upon revisiting the project, the two discovered that the album — titled Bird Machine — was near completion, and thus enlisted help from trusted musicians to finish it. “It was as though the songs let you know”, explained Melissa. “Mark communicated these songs. We just did our best to transmit them.”
The help came from a team of musicians – including producer Alan Weatherhead, Joel Hamilton who mixed the record, and Greg Calbi who jointly mastered the final version and had worked with Sparklehorse in the past.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.