Final Sparklehorse Album, Bird Machine, Receiving Posthumous Release

Listen to the song "Evening Star Supercharger"

sparklehorse posthumous album bird machine
Sparklehorse, photo by Danny Clinch

    The estate of Sparklehorse, the indie rock project of the late singer-songwriter Mark Linkous, has announced a posthumous new album called Bird Machine. The LP arrives September 8th via ANTI-, while the newly released song “Evening Star Supercharger” is available to stream below.

    Linkous began working on his fifth Sparklehorse album with Steve Albini in 2009. He tragically died by suicide the following year, but he left behind handwritten notes featuring Bird Machine’s title and tracklist — and according to his brother Matt and sister-in-law Melissa, songs that were already close to completion.

    The quality of the songs helped Matt and Melissa — who have worked as Linkous’ archivists since his death — decide to finish and release Bird Machine, though Matt called it the hardest choice he’s ever made. “It’s difficult making a choice about someone else’s art, even if you’ve known them all your life and worked with them, even if they were your brother and best friend,” he said. “We had long conversations about not wanting to take this into a different direction. We wanted to bring out what was there.”


    The couple was joined by previous Sparklehorse collaborators Alan Weatherhead, Joel Hamilton, and Greg Calbi, who handled the album’s production, mixing, and mastering, respectively. “It means so much to me, this last batch of beautiful stuff that my brother was putting together,” Matt said. “When I sit down and put on a pair of headphones, I run it all the way through. Everything from ‘It Will Never Stop’ to ‘Evening Star Supercharger’ to ‘Stay,’ that’s just Mark letting it all out.”

    Toy piano, mellotron, and wurlitzer add a quirky, cinematic quality to “Evening Star Supercharger,” a melancholy, midtempo number that otherwise rests on Linkous’ acoustic guitar. “Well I kicked and I screamed from zero to four/ And I still don’t know what for,” the artist sings. The song comes with a music video featuring Linkous’ handwritten lyrics, which makes the project feel like a final goodbye to the beloved musician. Check it out below.

    Pre-orders for Bird Machine are ongoing. The project features “It Will Never Stop,” a song Sparklehorse’s estate shared back in December. Before that, the artist appeared alongside MF DOOM in “Ninjarous,” a song shared by Danger Mouse.


    Bird Machine Artwork:

    Sparklehorse Bird Machine Album Artwork
    Bird Machine Tracklist:
    01. It Will Never Stop
    02. Kind Ghosts
    03. Evening Star Supercharger
    04. O Child
    05. Falling Down
    06. I Fucked it Up
    07. Hello Lord
    08. Daddy’s Gone
    09. Chaos of the Universe
    10. Listening to the Higsons
    11. Everybody’s Gone to Sleep
    12. Scull of Lucia
    13. Blue
    14. Stay

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