After over a year of legal wrangling, Dark Night of the Soul, the collaboration between director David Lynch, producer Brian "Dangermouse" Burton, and Mark Linkous, the late Sparklehorse mastermind, is finally going to see the light of day. Hear Dark Night of the Soul at NPR.
The Dark Night saga is a weird one, as befits a Lynch-related project. Cryptic posters were sent to press outlets announcing the work, which features a second collaboration between Burton and Linkous, with Lynch credited as providing "visuals." It was later announced that Lynch was responsible for a corresponding book of photographs, which were then a part of an art exhibit, at which the book was sold with a CD. The kicker? The CD was blank. During this early period of promotion, Spin offered this track-by-track breakdown.
Due to legal wrangling between parties involved and EMI, the music is just now getting an official release (though promo copies were sent to journalists and a stream was made available to the public through NPR.) A fine explanation of the events that transpired last summer can be found via The New York Times.
The release of Dark Night is especially poignant, as both Linkous and contributor Vic Chesnutt have passed away since the project's completion. Linkous and Chesnutt each committed suicide in the interim leading up to the album's official release. The album's website indicates that it's dedicated to their memories.
Burton and Mercer have been including Dark Night songs in recent appearances by Broken Bells, including their set last Friday (6/25) at Glastonbury.
"I told Mark [Linkous] that we'd worked things out with EMI back in January and he was very ahppy that the album was finally going to be released this year," Burton said in a statement reported by NME. "Mark meant a great deal to a lot of people and I'm grateful to have amde music with him and to be a part of his legacy."
Dark Night of the Soul participants include Iggy Pop, Jason Lytle (late of Grandaddy), Suzanne Vega, James Mercer (Burton's partner in the band Broken Bells), Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Frank Black, and The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, who previously worked with Linkous for a Daniel Johnston tribute. (Hear Sparklehorse and the Flaming Lips perform Johnston's "Go" here.)
Dark Night of the Soul arrives in the US on July 13 (the day before in the UK.)