This article sheds a little bit more light on things. He'd tracked 30 songs while working on his sixth album (called From a Basement on the Hill), and was considering a double album, even. He'd worked with JSBX drummer Russell Simins and The Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd.
It was a steak knife to the heart, in his girlfriend's apartment.
According to a source, anyway. When the news was just coming out, only one source identified the woman who found him as Smith's girlfriend (which would explain why she had a key to the place). Everyone else just said female friend. And only two sources mentioned multiple wounds, whereas everyone else either said wound in the singular or pointed out a single chest wound as the cause of death. I'm sort of anxious to see what the investigation turns up. The death was Tuesday but news broke only on Thursday so the authorities kept a lid on it until next of kin was notified. There was no suicide note, or if there was, it's been hidden away or destroyed. Stabbing yourself multiple times in the chest doesn't denote a premeditated suicide, at least to me. It sounds more like an act of passion than anything else. Don't most people with knives kill themselves by slitting their wrists? If he did have only the single chest wound then an accident might not still be out of the question.
None of this makes the loss any easier, though.