For Elliott

 

Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Elliott Smith.

For those who don’t know: American musician, addict, depressive who ultimately came to stab himself (or be stabbed by someone) in the chest on 21st October 2003, aged 34.

My obsession with Smith has lasted nigh on two years and shows no sign of abating. In general these days I’m quite bored with guitar-based music, but  I just don’t tire of Smith’s fluttering, dynamic chords and layers of melancholy vocals. More than that, he is my favourite thing: a storyteller.

It would be impossible to pick a favourite track, always getting to know different songs better, or fall out a little with others (or have them become too painful to listen to any more when they become associated with a time). Pitseleh is definitely a favourite though. It shows all of Smith’s best qualities: rolling, compelling guitar work accompanied with piano, harmonised vocals, and sad, cutting, ambiguous lyrics… Elliott, you were truly the most exquisitely depressed human being…

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