A Passing Feeling

Elliott Smith has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard.
I think that has been a pretty easy conclusion to reach ever since the first time that I listened to him when I was a freshman in high school. His voice is the whispering of secrets and the breaking of hearts and any other thing that an adolescent girl would swoon over. His voice holds every single thing that makes me swoon even as I inch my way out of adolescence as slowly as I please
Elliott Smith is the kind of artist who managed to transcend the idea that he was “just” playing music. Before his death in 2003, and surely even more after, his voice is the kind of voice that wraps itself around the minds of the people that let it.
And I’ve been learning to let it do just that.
He has a quiet voice, bordering on being a kind of broken falsetto.
He writes songs about girlfriends and city streets, addiction and that impending, overcoming feeling that things won’t ever get to be okay.
Yet, he sings every song like it’s a love song.
The most lovely, lilting love song that any person could think to sing.
The music isn’t too complicated. Elliott was a talented guitar player who opted to make the most out of making quiet music. The music is just as deceptive as his songs are; Sounding lovely and simple until you take the time to really turn your ear to them.
I’ve been listening to him a lot lately. Because his is the kind of voice that sounds like it’s singing to me, and that tends to make me feel a lot less lonely. It just breaks my heart.


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