12 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s a sad and beautiful world, Mark Linkous told us on his first album as Sparklehorse, and eleven years later, that still sums matters up. Lo-fi and lushly textured at once, the sublime Dreamt for Light Years layers Linkous’s fragile falsetto over grimy fuzzed-out guitars, organ, strings, and assorted electronic blips, burbles, and beats. With their dreamlike imagery of honey, horses, crows, knives, and ghosts, Linkous’s lyrics are as surreally lovely as ever, and his musical namechecks are a pop junkie’s fever dream: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” on “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away”; the Kinks’s “Sunday Afternoon” on “Mountains.” It’s been five years since the last Sparklehorse album, and a number of these tracks have done double duty on other projects. But the whole hangs together surprisingly well. Alternating comfortably-numb weepers with upbeat garage-rockers, Dreamt proves the most accessible incarnation yet of Linkous’s haunted, despairing vision of Americana. “Smile! Cause nothing here matters,” he sings on “It’s Not So Hard,” and somehow, you don’t believe a word.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s a sad and beautiful world, Mark Linkous told us on his first album as Sparklehorse, and eleven years later, that still sums matters up. Lo-fi and lushly textured at once, the sublime Dreamt for Light Years layers Linkous’s fragile falsetto over grimy fuzzed-out guitars, organ, strings, and assorted electronic blips, burbles, and beats. With their dreamlike imagery of honey, horses, crows, knives, and ghosts, Linkous’s lyrics are as surreally lovely as ever, and his musical namechecks are a pop junkie’s fever dream: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” on “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away”; the Kinks’s “Sunday Afternoon” on “Mountains.” It’s been five years since the last Sparklehorse album, and a number of these tracks have done double duty on other projects. But the whole hangs together surprisingly well. Alternating comfortably-numb weepers with upbeat garage-rockers, Dreamt proves the most accessible incarnation yet of Linkous’s haunted, despairing vision of Americana. “Smile! Cause nothing here matters,” he sings on “It’s Not So Hard,” and somehow, you don’t believe a word.

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