Sparklehorse

Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of the Mountain (Astralwerks)

ACL Music Fest Reviews

Sparklehorse

Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (Astralwerks)

Mark Linkous is lucky to be alive. The bellwether of respected alt-rock outfit Sparklehorse has battled addiction and crippling depression that left him barely able to get out of bed. With that backstory, Sparklehorse's powerful fourth album, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain, is a staggering rebirth, a staring contest with life that ends in a draw. Cut in a remote North Carolina studio and produced by renegade artist Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, Dreamt begins with a plea, "Don't Take My Sunshine Away." It's a mellow, lackadaisical (but not lazy) intro, a wary acknowledgement of a desire to live. The wistful "Shade and Honey" feels like a goodbye, as Linkous wishes his subject well while the guitar trembles in the background and the rhythm sways sweetly. Between those extremes, Dreamt completes a beautiful narrative trajectory of a return to life and artistic fulfillment, complete with energetic highs and quiet lows, not to mention copious bleeps and bloops paired with more organic instrumentation. It's a document of a life-changing journey, and it should be essential listening for anyone who appreciates a comeback. (Friday, 7:30pm, AT&T Blue Room stage)

****

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Solicitor Returns (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 12, 2016

Texas Platters
Magnet School
The Art of Telling the Truth (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Feb. 12, 2016

More by Melanie Haupt
Selling Feminism One Box at a Time
Selling Feminism One Box at a Time
The serious business of Girl Scout cookies

Jan. 22, 2016

Top 10 Sandwiches*
Top 10 Sandwiches*

Jan. 1, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, SXSW Daily Edition

Our latest from SXSW 2016, delivered March 11-20

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways