Sparklehorse’s newest album, “Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain,” consists of 12 tracks running the gamut from bitter guitar solos to mellow pop songs. Ideally listened to on a rainy day, many of the songs are depressingly dark, yet most are strangely packaged with rhythms that make them comforting to listen to.
After releasing “It’s a Wonderful Life” in 2001, Mark Linkous carefully constructed “Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain” for five years before its release. Linkous admitted that several of the tracks were pop tunes that didn’t make it onto “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Linkous turned to producer Danger Mouse to help him finish it.
Sparklehorse is bizarrely unique and can be described as dreamy pop or psychedelic rock. Linkous uses abrasive guitar melodies, woozy mellotrons, skewed wire recordings, and bargain drum machines. His voice is soothing though it’s almost always distorted in some way to match the emotions in his songs.
His voice can be lethargic and lulling, as on “Return to me,” and on “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” it’s choppy and staticy to complement the sporadic guitar.
The album reflects Linkous’s many years of depression. The lyrics are dark and depressing and merge with perplexing imagery to give all his songs a surrealistic feel. In “Morning Hollow” Linkous faintly sings of a woman who “don’t run through the fields anymore.”
“Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain” is sadly Linkous’s final album. In March 2010, he tragically took his life. He will always be remembered for his beautiful music and forever missed by his fans.