(Elliott Smith cover)
words by tom johnson
photograph by kellie augusta
This week marks the 25th anniversary of Elliott Smith’s seminal self-titled, a record which gave this blog its name, among many other more notable things. As the follow up to Roman Candle, it was a record that showed real growth in Elliott’s own writing, a scorched stepping-stone towards the more prominent breakthrough he would make on Either/Or a couple of years later. To mark the occasion, the album gets a special re-release today, with a new mix and an attached live recording from 1994.
Also shared today in honour of the anniversary is this beautiful new recording by Johanna Samuels, the LA-based songwriter whose wonderful Have A Good One EP we shared on these pages last year. As a short placeholder before a new album next Spring, Samuels has recorded a captivating version of Elliott’s ‘Single File’, a hurried strum which is lifted from the aforementioned LP.
Samuels own version is cast a little lighter, the song fitting into the pink twilight of her song’s associated artwork. Embellished by beautiful guitars and keys, her version feels somewhat less delicate, the warmth of the composition shining a spotlight on Smith’s lyrics:
Here in line
Where stupid shit collides
With dying shooting stars
All we got to show what we really are
Is the same kind of scars
Listen to Johanna’s version of the song below right now, and follow her socials for updates on her own work. The 25th anniversary of Elliott Smith is released today and available here. We’ll explore the album in more depth in Issue 7 of our physical journal which is released in October and available to preorder now from our store.