Dark Night of the Soul
Cultural treasure-hunting, or what priceless music has to do with expensive photography.
By Maria Popova
David Lynch and Danger Mouse are two of creative culture’s most radical movers-and-shakers. This month, they’ve come together in a too-good-to-be-true-(but-it-is-true) project: Dark Night of the Soul — a priceless multimedia collaboration featuring all-star vocalists like The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, Suzanne Vega, Broken Bells, and even Lynch himself singing on two of the tracks.
From psychedelic electronica to fluid folk-rock to gritty blues, the compilation spans a remarkable spectrum of genres and talent.
To add to the cultural treasure status of the project, the album was co-masterminded by legendary producer Mark Linkous a.k.a. Sparklehouse, who tragically took his own life earlier this year. While the album was set to release in 2009, a number of licensing bureaucracies led to seemingly indefinite delays. Finally, albeit posthumously for Linkous, Dark Night of the Soul is seeing light of day – and what a light it is.
The project features an interesting interactive website and an absolutely stunning collector’s edition companion book of haunting photographs by David Lynch. (Which, if you’re in New York, you can see at the Morrison Hotel Gallery.) For a closer look at the collaboration, KCRW’s Jason Bentley has an excellent interview with Lynch and Danger Mouse.
I joked and I said ‘I thought you were coming up here because you wanted me to sing on this thing’ and he said ‘No no no, I do’, but he was like being real polite. And so one thing led to another, and not only did a get to do the photographs, but I got to sing on two tracks.” ~ David Lynch
You can grab an mp3 copy of the album on Amazon or iTunes, but we highly recommend going for the deluxe box set — collaborations like this come by once every few decades, and this one is worth celebrating with the full bells and whistles: Four discs, including an instrumental CD, a poster, 48-page minibook, and original photographs by David Lynch.
Published July 22, 2010