For those who thought they’d bootlegged every last possible song from the late indie-rock hero Elliott Smith, it’s your lucky day.
An unreleased Smith track called “The Real Estate” will appear July 19 on Live from Nowhere Near You II, a new three-disc benefit comp curated by Kevin Moyer. When we first heard the news, we wondered (as we sifted through our own stacks of Smith recordings), how did it resurface eight years after Smith’s death?
Turns out Moyer went to high school with Smith in downtown Portland, Oregon. He originally reached out to Smith years ago when he was working on the first volume of the compilation, which benefits Outside In, a Portland-based charity for homeless youth, but Smith didn’t end up contributing.
“I think this was either smack in the middle of his downward spiral or during his subsequent rise and recovery from it,” Moyer said in a statement. Sadly, a few months after the charity record was released, he learned that Smith had passed away. “I was completely and totally devastated, and still am.”
Years afterward, Moyer met up with Larry Crane, who owns Portland’s Jackpot! Studio, where Smith often recorded. Crane had just finished mixing Smith’s posthumous release New Moon, and as he listened to unreleased tracks with Moyer, they discovered an unlabeled mystery track hiding between two other known songs on a DAT tape.