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Elliott Smith and his music need little introduction–he was likely the only musician ever able to maintain indie cred while garnering an Academy Award nomination (in 1998’s Best Original Song category for “Miss Misery,” which appeared on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack). Smith released five full-length records before ending his own life in 2003 at the age of 34, with another two (the unfinished From a Basement on the Hill and the New Moon compilation) released after his death. On April 6th, Olympia’s venerable Kill Rock Stars will be adding From A Basement on the Hill and Roman Candle, Smith’s first effort, to their catalog, making the label the permanent home for all of Smith’s independent releases.
To commemorate the occasion, the label is sharing “Cecilia/Amanda,” a previously unreleased recording from 1997. The song’s origins date back to his high school band, Stranger Than Fiction, when it was recorded with a different set of lyrics, but this rendition is classic Elliott Smith. Baroque elements harmonize with barely-there vocals, murmurs set against what is truly a bit of lavish instrumentation. “Cecilia/Amanda” is transfixing if brief, much like the life of the artist who produced it.