It’s been such a long time since the late, great Elliott Smith has come up on the news media radar, but like a kindly spirit, his name is back to haunt us (and for good reason). The indie label Kill Rock Stars will be re-releasing Smith’s albums Roman Candle and From a Basement on the Hill and putting them in their own catalog alongside their other Smith releases (namely his self-titled album from 1995 and Either/Or). Kill Rock Stars is also providing a “new” (i.e. previously unreleased) track called “Cecilia/Amanda” to go along with the news of the reissues.
Roman Candle, Smith’s extremely raw, lo-fi debut, was originally released on Cavity Search Records and Domino Records. The posthumous album, From a Basement on the Hill (released in ’04 after Smith’s death in ’03), was originally available through ANTI- and Domino.
Larry Crane, the editor of Tape Op Magazine and Elliott Smith archivist, has re-mastered Roman Candle for the Kill Rock Stars re-release. Crane has commented that he wanted to make the album “more listenable,” and thus perhaps more inviting to people not so familiar with Elliott Smith.
The new song “Cecilia/Amanda” was recorded back in 1997 by Larry Crane, and it is supposedly a re-working of a song Smith had originally written and recorded for a band back in high school. It sounds like unbelievably mature songwriting for a high schooler, yet it radiates nostalgia and youth. Listen for yourself.
The re-issues of Roman Candle and From a Basement on the Hill are set to be released on April 6 of next year. Oh, and as if Kill Rock Stars didn’t give us a big enough surprise with that free mp3, they also have Elliot Smith’s back catalog on sale until January 4.