NPR.org is hailing a project titled Dark Night of the Soul as "one of the year's most mysterious albums." What's so dark about this night, you may ask, and what's so mysterious?

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The man, the horse, the mouse.

The album's production has been methodically secretive, but details have revealed it to be a musical collaboration between producer Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley and The Grey Album fame), experimental folk-rocker Sparklehorse, and a handful of interesting musicians—including Iggy Pop, Jason Lytle and the Shins' James Mercer— providing vocals and further work on individual tracks.

Tying it all together with overall aesthetic guidance and inspiration is legendary creepster David Lynch (the man behind Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive), who has compiled a book of his photography to accompany the CD.

Does this not sound like a slightly twisted music and art lover's dream? Sadly, it may never see the light of day (or the dark of night, or what have you). NPR reports that the album's release is so delayed by dealings with EMI that hard copies may never be made available. If an agreement can't be reached between the producers and the record company, it's being suggested that in an act of defiance, orders will be shipped of the photo book and a blank CD with the following message: "For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will."

That's a clever response to EMI's fuckery, but here's hoping that it doesn't come to that— from the sound of it, this is an album the people should be allowed to get their hands on. In the meantime, listen for yourself over here.

Thanks to Ben for the tip.