Songwriter and producer Mark Linkous died on Saturday day (March 6) after shooting himself in the heart in front of a friends house in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 47.
The New York Times reports the Sparklehorse mastermind was found police responded to a call at 1:20 p.m. He was declared dead at the scene.
Rolling Stone says that a spokesperson at Anti-, home to Sparklehorse’s albums, confirmed that a new album was nearly finished. Linkous had also already completed a concept project with superproducer Danger Mouse and film director David Lynch titled “Dark Night of the Soul,” which was embroiled in a release dispute with troubled label EMI but ultimately got scheduled for release this summer.
The latter effort includes contributions from James Mercer, Gruff Rhys, Jason Lytle, Julian Casablancas, Frank Black, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson, Suzanne Vega, Scott Spillane and, eerily, Vic Chesnutt, another indie-folk-Americana artist who died at 45 in December after overdosing on muscle relaxants.
Sparklehorse released four albums, plus a collaboration with electronica artist Fennesz; Linkous had produced efforts from artists like Daniel Johnston and Persson. He performed in several other punk and indie projects in the ’80s and ’90s.
Linkous nearly died in 1996 after taking a mulititude of antidepressants, an incident that temporarily left him paralyzed.
He is survived by his wife Teresa, his mother, his father and three brothers. On his website, The Linkous family said, “It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There”s a heaven and there”s a star for you. – March 6, 2010”
His music was smart, selective, high-tensioned, fragile and a little disturbed; his contributions will be very much missed.