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Listen to Elliott Smith’s Bare-Bones Version of ‘Angeles’

Elliott Smith / Photo by Getty Images

As Elliott Smith kept expanded his instrumental palette from album to album, a certain contingent of fans still longed for the hushed intimacy of his earlier recordings. From his 1997 landmark Either/Or, “Angeles” always fell into the latter category, with Smith’s wounded yet evocative lyrics set atop busily folk-flecked acoustic guitar figures. But the album track also includes double-tracked vocals and an organ-like hum. As Kill Rock Stars shares previously unreleased Smith recordings this month in honor of what would’ve been the late singer’s 43rd birthday, the label’s latest offering is a stark, fully unplugged take on “Angeles,” which should please the lo-fi Smith fans still further. “That was called ‘Angeles,'” Smith can be heard saying into the tape at the end. Visit Kill Rock Stars’ website for discounts on Elliott Smith offerings all through August.

From the Archive: Read SPIN’s January 1999 profile of Smith