Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Linkous has committed suicide, his publicist confirms to Rolling Stone.
I can’t believe what an eerie coincidence this is. You probably know how it is when you discover some new artist with so much good material — you spend a few days just wallowing in it, absorbing it all, noticing all the minutiae and details that only become apparent after repeated listenings. Then the glow fades a bit, and when you listen to them, you feel a little inured to their charms — not much, but it doesn’t have the same intensity as it originally did.
But every so often, whether it’s due to the stars aligning just so, or the weather having some sort of effect on your subconscious, whatever the cyclical phenomenon, you get possessed by the urge to listen to them again with the same passionate intensity as when you first discovered them — the romance is back in the relationship!
Well, that’s what’s so eerie and uncanny — I had just been having one of those spells around the time he died. For a few days beforehand, I had been listening to them while working and at home. The day he died, I was checking their website to see when some new stuff might be coming out, since it had been four years since the last record. This morning, I had listened to them for a few hours straight while working, only to come home and see this news. That’s what makes it such a visceral shock to me, to be riding high on that sort of artistic communion, only to have that cold water thrown in my face suddenly.
Obviously, that weary innocence in his music feels even more poignant in light of this. I guess it isn’t hard to see how someone who felt like that could eventually be overwhelmed by the world, but still…you just kind of hoped he’d manage to squeak by somehow and keep making music along the way.
I always thought it was cool that he spent a little time living in my old hometown, where his family has roots. But those achingly beautiful songs, fragile as blown glass…I can’t believe there won’t be any more of them.
Thank you for everything, Mark.