Howdy, folks! On this week’s New Music Wednesday, I’ll be profiling the incomparable Elliott Smith!
I first heard about Elliott Smith from my old friend and guitar teacher, Daniel (funny, I know.). By that time in my four years of lessons, we reached a point where I didn’t want to learn how to play different scales but hone my song writing skills. I couldn’t think of any songs for him to teach me, so he taught me Between the Bars by Elliott Smith on guitar. It’s a fairly easy song to learn, but there’s so much beauty and emotion in it that I fell in love. But enough about me.
The most interesting fact about Elliott Smith is that- HOLY SHIT HIS NAME ISN’T ACTUALLY ELLIOTT? I just read his Wiki article. I had no idea that his real name was Steven. How intriguing. But what I was going to say was the most interesting thing about him that I knew before reading his Wiki page was that he gained more success as a solo artist than he did in a band. My guitar teacher couldn’t even remember the name of the band he was in before he went solo!
Smith unfortunately died in 2003 at the tender age of 34. But his music still survives. He has an almost cult like following, and his official website is run by fans! His music has been featured in several films, like Good Will Hunting and The Royal Tenenbaums.
My favourite song by him is Between the Bars, for sure. But do yourself a favour and just listen to his music. Don’t worry about song titles for once. Something I really like about most of his music, Between the Bars especially, is that its acoustic, and still sounds finished. That’s something I’ve struggled with with my own music- making it sound full and finished without having a full band behind me. But really, listen to his songs and music. He was a tormented artist that made beautiful music despite his own personal feelings. Appreciate it for all its worth.