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A Tribute To Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous

Mark Linkous, a songwriter who performed under the name Sparklehorse, committed suicide last week in Knoxville, Tenn.

"He was very much a working-class guy with a poetic sensibility," rock critic Ken Tucker tells Terry Gross. "What I liked about him was that he ... wrote very short, concise pop songs that allowed a lot of freedoms to distort the vocals."

Under the name Sparklehorse, Linkous released four albums: 1995's Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, 1999's Good Morning Spider, 2001's It's a Wonderful Life and 2006's Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain.

Recently, Linkous collaborated on an album called Dark Night of the Soul with the producer Danger Mouse and director David Lynch. NPR Music's Robin Hilton says the album is "beautiful but haunting, surreal and dark, but sometimes comical and affecting, with ear-popping, multilayered production work. It just gets more mesmerizing with every listen."

At the time of his death, Linkous "had recently finished most of the work for a new album," his publicist told The New York Times.

Tucker says that Linkous' music was known for its melancholy themes and "whispery, confident voice."

"[Linkous] once told me, 'I like really simple short songs that sound as if you're hearing snatches of them beaming off satellites,' " Tucker says. "And I thought that was a perfect description for how he sang."

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