Elliott Smith

It was about 6 years ago when I "discovered" music by Elliott Smith. I heard a snippet of a song on Triple J and bought the CD for my then-girlfriend (now wife) Olivia. In the months after that I bought two of his older CD's too. His music is melodic, Beatles-inspired, and often just him and a guitar, although his later CD's included rich layering with orchestras. I see a lot of his songs as being "sad" music, whether it was about girls, addiction, or life in general; but his music stood out to me as having a "real" and honest quality, and he was a skillful guitarist with a good voice and fantastic song arrangements.

I actually gave away all my CD's at one stage (including Elliott) when I was undergoing a fairly big life change. I had basically forgotten about the music until late last year when I thought I'd check a fan website, to find out that he had committed suicide a year earlier.

I was both sad and angry, and I'm still trying to understand, "Why?".

All this to say I still enjoy his music, I have bought a few of his CD's, and I found some live performances at the Live Music Archive (warning: large downloads). In my quest to stay up-to-date I also came across a post at Melbourne-based signposts.org.au about Elliott Smith too.

Elliott Smith music still has a special place for me - it evokes images and recalls memories of a couple of years back, is still skillful and honest, and is made all the more sadder because there's not going to be any more (although I thought a "live" album may be in the works). It doesn't have the grip it once had on me. I wonder if listening to music by someone who is really depressed would make you depressed?

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