Palehound Covers Elliott Smith’s “Southern Belle” For Reissue of His Self-Titled Album | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024  

Palehound Covers Elliott Smith’s “Southern Belle” For Reissue of His Self-Titled Album

Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition Due Out August 28 on Kill Rock Stars.

Aug 06, 2020 Elliott Smith
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For our My Favorite Album print issue last fall, Ellen Kempner of Palehound wrote about her favorite album: Elliot Smith’s Either/Or. Coincidentally, Kempner has just released her cover of Smith’s “Southern Belle.” It’s from his 1995 self-titled album, though, not Either/Or. But that doesn’t matter because it’s a lovely ode to the magnificent songwriter, check it out below.

The cover comes ahead of Smith’s posthumous reissue of his self-titled solo album. Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition comes out August 28 via Kill Rock Stars but before that, artists such as Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), Josh Kaufman (Muzz, Bob Weir, Josh Ritter), Marisa Anderson, MAITA, Prateek Kuhad, and Califone will release covers of Smith’s tracks.

Kempner’s cover doesn’t derive too far from the original, but it isn’t a note for note copy either. With Kempner’s lush, whispered vocals and fiery guitar partnered with explosive drms and the occasional harmonica, Smith’s sound is still alive and well.

Along with the reissue itself, the package will also include a previously unreleased live album, recorded at Portland’s Umbra Penumbra in 1994 and a 52-page book of handwritten lyrics and notes from Smith’s friends, and previously unseen photographs.

For this release, producer/engineer Larry Crane, the official archivist for the Smith family, gathered files, reels, cassettes, and DAT tapes to find original Elliott Smith mixes. “There are fan-traded MP3s out there of this show, but when people hear what I was able to extract from this original tape, they’ll be shocked,” Crane says in a press release.

“I’ve always felt like this record is underappreciated,” Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon says in a press release. “A lot of people overlook Elliott’s first two records—they think of them as a prelude to the bigger albums that followed—but when you go back, you discover they’re really great. This is Elliott’s most fragile and delicate music, and we wanted to honor that with a special and beautiful package.”

Back in 2019 Palehound released her new album Black Friday via Polyvinyl, and then shared two singles: “Your Boyfriend’s Gun” and a new cover of Yo La Tengo’s “Autumn Sweater.”

Read our recent COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In interview with Palehound.

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