Good news for fans of David Lynch. NPR is reporting that the long-awaited Dark Night of the Soul is finally getting a legitimate release after having spent nearly a year mired in a corporate dispute.
The title is a collaborative effort between filmmaker Lynch, the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, and Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame. The project, which was supposed to release last year (complete with a limited edition 100-page artbook featuring photographs by Lynch) never made its shipping date because of a dispute between Linkous and EMI Records. The title did wind up leaked on the Internet, where it became a cult sensation on various torrent sites. Lynch and the rest of the folks behind Dark Night of the Soul then playfully poked fun at the album's pirated status. Anyone who bought a copy of the art book got a blank CD-R with a note stating "For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will." Pretty clever.
Now that the rights issues have been resolved, the CD is set to make its American debut on July 13th. If you haven't checked the album out already, I'll say it's certainly worth a listen. Featuring tracks from artists like Frank Black, Iggy Pop, the late Vic Chestnutt, Jason Lytle, and two tracks featuring Lynch himself, it's an odd mixture of styles that still manages to fit the theme implied by the title. Lynch's tracks, Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It) and Dark Night of the Soul are real standouts – with the latter song having a dark and somber quality that's nearly mournful.
Unfortunately, since the artbook was a limited edition offering, it's seems unlikely that it will turn up in the new release. If you're curious to hear the tracks now, you can stream the entire album over at NPR.