Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill

USA, 2004, singer-songwriter / indie rock

I fell in love with Elliott Smith the day after he died, consumed his discography like a madman, and was left feeling simultaneously satisfied and hungry for more. With the posthumous release of this album almost exactly one year after his death, his fans had something new, something beautiful, something at last we could listen to and say goodbye to. It’s weird, discovering and loving an artist only after his death and then getting new material not soon after the initial discovery. “Sunshine been keeping me up for days…I felt so ugly before.” Yeah, I bet, Elliott. There’s a lot of desperation and not-so-subtle allusions to substance abuse all over this last, sad musical document of a brilliant young man. Whenever I hear “King’s Crossing”, I’m transported into Elliott’s anthemic melancholy, that same darkness that leads him to his date with a “rich white lady”, so when he sings, “Give me one good reason not to do it”, I sing with all my might the answer his most-devoted fans would always answer at his live shows: “Because we love you”.

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