Mondays mean BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the PropertyOfZack feature today with Such Gold. The band is gearing up to release their debut album, Misadventures, tomorrow via Razor & Tie Records, so make sure to download the LP here. In this week’s feature, Skylar Sarkis from the band dives into one of his largest influences, Sparklehorse. Skylar’s story on how he came to fall in love with Sparklehorse and the way the band taught him about layering music and pure honesty within the confines of an album. Make sure to listen to great songs by Sparklehorse on Spotify here and check out what Skylar had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From Skylar Sarkis of Such Gold:
A few months before joining Such Gold, I had gotten my hands on Sparklehorse’s Distorted Ghost EP. Whenever I had to do long drives, the name Sparklehorse would always pop out at me and I’d always throw on the first track, which was a rendition of the song “Happy Man.” The song immediately got stuck in my head and so I would put it on for every drive or in my headphones every night before bed. I ended up listening through the whole EP a few times, which includes a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “My Yolk is Heavy” (didn’t realize that until much later). From listening to the EP, I started to fall in love with what Sparklehorse was doing with layers and the reuse of seemingly abstract lyrical themes like horses, pianos, oceans, and various other animals and pieces of nature.
After a while of just listening to Distorted Ghost, I picked up Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. This is when I started to get really hooked. Having always been an Elliott Smith fan, I loved how the album had such dynamic variety; quiet acoustic songs recorded on four-track followed by rocking multi-instrumental lo-fi compositions. Mark Linkous, the man behind Sparklehorse, seemed to have a way of layering simple but beautiful guitar/piano/pedal steel etc. parts together, putting everything in it’s proper place but never doing too much of anything. At the same time, I noticed to a far greater extent the amount his lyrics relied on his own impressionistic style and reuse of abstract themes that seemed to have meaning only to him. This sort of self-serving art excites me, especially because it isn’t the kind that is inaccessible at all. Its introversion is what makes it so endearing to begin with.
I remember watching a documentary about Linkous after I had gotten deeply into Vivadixie where he talks about returning from LA after quitting his old band, The Dancing Hoods, and trying to escape a heroin habit. At one point while being interviewed, he says, “As soon as I stopped trying to be a rock star—that’s when I started making good music.”