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Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty, now a producer with the moniker UUL, has unveiled three EMD collaborations with late indie folk rocker Elliott Smith. The Record, Dogs, and Burn are all electronic dance songs, featuring Smith’s whispery vocals and music by UUL.
According to Pitchfork, Doughty recalls Smith recording the vocals a cappella during a late 1990's session at LA’s Sunset Sound Factory. Smith was in LA working on the soundtrack for Good Will Hunting.
“He said, ‘Oh, I’m doing this thing for this movie.’ That’s what he said and it was Good Will Hunting… He downplayed it,” Doughty told Pitchfork contributing editor Jayson Greene. “He was kind of like, ‘Ehh, I can’t believe I’m doing this thing.’ But I think he was just cool kids-ing it.”
He recalls recording Smith with a binaural head microphone, “It would just be an incredibly realistic stereo effect,” he explained. “Really like if you record a street scene and if you close your eyes and have headphones on, you would seem submerged in the street scene.”
The backing music was created shortly after Doughty found the original session tapes last November. Says Doughty, “I didn’t seek permission to put this out. This is a collaboration Elliott and I began a long time ago, and this is the form we intended.”
Acclaimed folk and indie rocker Elliott Smith is renown for his emotive and intimate whispery vocals. Although he already had a devout underground following, he rose to mainstream prominence when his song Miss Misery, included in the soundtrack for Good Will Hunting, was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.
A long time sufferer of depression, alcoholism and drug addiction, Smith dealt with all these topics in his lyrics. At age 34, he died in Los Angeles, California, from two stab wounds to the chest. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously completed and released.
Consequence of Sound notes, the lyrics of newly-released The Record would eventually become the basis for Smith’s song Bottle Up and Explode! from Smith’s 1998 album, XO. Listen to it and all three new tracks below.
Listen: UUL – The Record (featuring Elliott Smith)
Listen: UUL – Dogs (featuring Elliott Smith)
Listen: UUL – Burn (featuring Elliott Smith)
Watch: Elliott Smith – Bottle Up And Explode