Sparklehorse is a rock group led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Linkous. Essentially, Linkous is Sparklehorse as he records much of the band's material in his home studio with his vision guiding the music. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Scott Minor is a frequent collaborator. Sparklehorse's music often has an introspective, melancholy feel, and the lyrics contain much unusual imagery.
Musically, Sparklehorse is not far removed from alt country in its broadest sense -- especially on the band's debut album. Linkous is fond of incorporating obsolete musical instruments or technologies to Sparklehorse in ways reminiscent of some of Tom Waits' music.
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Sparklehorse's first album was released in 1995 and was confoundingly-titled Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. The record was a modest success, mainly on college radio. Good Morning Spider was released in 1998 and included mournful songs such as "Painbirds".
In 2001, Sparklehorse released the album It's A Wonderful Life, which features appearances by Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Nina Persson and Dave Fridmann, the pre-eminent producer of indie music at the time. Whereas much of Sparklehorse's first two albums were recorded solely by Linkous in his "Static King" studio on his farm in rural Virginia, It's A Wonderful Life was more of a formal effort, largely recorded by Fridmann after Linkous was asked by his label to retain an outside producer for the project.
Sparklehorse's latest album, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain, was released in 2006.