Dark Night of the Soul with Danger Mouse
“From the start, there was something mysterious about Danger Mouse’s latest project, “Dark Night of the Soul.”
Word of it first came at the South by Southwest music festival in March, on a poster that simply listed the name Danger Mouse the record producer and member of the R&B duo Gnarls Barkley along with the singer-songwriter Sparklehorse and, among others, the director David Lynch. A YouTube video in Mr. Lynch’s unmistakable style stirred interest but added no details.
It was classic teaser marketing. And yet when “Dark Night of the Soul” was finally unveiled a few weeks ago, it still left fans puzzled. The project, it turned out, is a large-format book-and-CD package that Danger Mouse was releasing by himself, with 50 photographs by Mr. Lynch intended as accompaniment to the album’s 13 songs. But the CD is blank and recordable, and a sticker on the shrink wrap explains cryptically: “For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.”
“Danger Mouse and Mark Linkous (a.k.a. Sparklehorse) first came up with the idea for Dark Night of the Soul while working together on the 2006 Sparklehorse album Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain. Linkous had written a number of songs he wasn't comfortable singing, so Danger Mouse suggested getting someone else to do the vocals. The result is an all-star cast of guest artists on Dark Night, including The Shins' James Mercer, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Iggy Pop, and David Lynch, each of whom offers his own interpretation of the Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse songs.
The campaign for the album included a series of surreal photographs by David Lynch, based on the stories and themes of the songs. The images are available in a 48-page book in the deluxe version of Dark Night of the Soul, which also includes a poster, postcards, two LPs, a CD and a bonus instrumental CD. The campaign also included an immersive art show at the Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.
NPR: David Lynch: A Detailed Look At A 'Dark Night’
New York Times: A CD Has No Music But Lots of Picture
NPR: Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse Team Up With David Lynch For 'Dark Night Of The Soul
The AV Club: Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse: Dark Night Of The Soul Art In America: Dark Night of the Soul: New Photographs by David Lynch The Guardian: Danger Mouse and Sparklehourse Present
Pitchfork: Dark Night of the Soul