I’m not sure where I was when Elliott Smith was making the waves that shook people’s worlds and left a forever-mark on their hearts, but for obvious reasons, I eventually fell in love with Elliott Smith’s music. His sound is altogether unique and sweet, and of course the story of his addiction to drugs, alcohol, and his battle with depression attracted the ears and eyes of the media and fans alike. It’s a little bit like listening to a Kid Cudi today; when you listen to Elliott Smith’s music, there’s a bit of relief in hearing that others, too, struggle at times, and that maybe you’re not alone in this big, scary world. Part of me thinks that we seek comfort in this music because it’s subconsciously nice to know that others are sadder than you are. I wouldn’t ever say I’m as lonely as Cudder or as sad and alone as Elliott Smith, and that’s somehow comforting. Sick and twisted, perhaps, but I’m an American, I suppose. Others’ personal lives interest me, and when they pour their whole heart out in a song, I cling to it. And if it gives me any sense of comfort, I let it into my heart without even knowing it. That’s the case with Elliott Smith and Kid Cudi.
Today, a previously unreleased song of Elliott Smith’s that few others ever got the chance to hear has surfaced. It was recorded when Smith, age 27 at the time, went to play at WMUC-FM, the student-run college radio station at University of Maryland. Before he performed his official set, he asked to warm up with a song that the Washington Post describes as a “front-porch-folky song” called “Misery Let Me Down.” It’s been unreleased for over a decade, but today we all get a chance to hear one more song from the artist who so many of us loved and miss today, Elliott Smith.
Head over to The Washington Post to listen for yourself.
Josh Schroeder is a singer-songwriter whose music reminds me of two musicians whom I consider to be legends in the music industry: Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley. This song has a bit of a dark and haunted feel, but it’s masked by Schroeder’s delicate voice that ripples and quivers like waves on a still ocean, much like Buckley’s. I hope not to put Schroeder’s life in jeopardy by comparing him to two artists whose lives ended early, both assumedly from acts of suicide. Josh, if you’re reading this, please take it as a compliment that I compare your music to that of such artistic geniuses and set aside the fact that both men died young.
This is the type of gentle indie music that I believe will never get old for me. I tend to go through phases with music, but this is timeless. It’s classic beautiful music decorated with lyrics that tell a story poetically and wispy guitar riffs that gently blow through my head like the wind in the trees. I will hold on to this song forever.
I will search endlessly
In a land of dying dreams
In hope your eyes I’ll find
Your eyes, your eyes, your eyes, your eyes I’ll find
I’m in no man’s land for you
Photo Credit: Meredith Adelaide