Elliott Smith‘s pre-solo band Heatmiser has announced the forthcoming release of a new rarities compilation.
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Teaming up with Third Man Records, ‘The Music of Heatmiser’ will feature 29 songs. Heatmiser originally distributed the new compilation as a 6-song cassette at local record stores and shows as a way to promote the band ahead of the release of their debut album, 1993’s ‘Dead Air’.
Co-founding singer-guitarist Neil Gust revealed that this compilation came together thanks to the band’s drummer Tony Lash. The LP will include 23 additional demos, live tracks, rare versions and previously unreleased songs. As a teaser, Third Man Records has shared the track ‘Lowlife’ along with a video of the band performing the song in Fort Collins, Colorado.
“Tony found a bunch of forgotten recordings and started mixing them and sending them to me. We were struck by the freewheeling energy of the band; you could hear how much fun we were having,” Gust said in a press release.
He continued: “In 1992, we could barely afford the studio, so it all had to be done really fast. When we put the cassette together, we wanted it to start like a punch in the face. That’s ‘Lowlife’.”
Heatmiser released three studio albums, 1993’s ‘Dead Air’, 1994’s ‘Cop And Speeder’ and 1996’s ‘Mic City Sons’, before disbanding in 1996. The band were inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2015, 12 years after Smith’s tragic death.
‘The Music of Heatmiser’ is set for release on October 6 via Third Man Records. Pre-order the album here.
Earlier this year, six albums recorded by Smith in high school between 1985 and 1989 surfaced online.
The six records were obtained and distributed by a fan of Smith’s from Texas called Cameron McCrary. The fan contacted local record stores in Portland, where Smith spent much of his life, and hunted on Discogs to find the albums. Finally, Lash, the drummer on several of the albums, sold his copies to McCrary, while other recordings were found over the span of two years.
Back in 2020, Smith’s self-titled second album was reissued to mark its 25th anniversary. It came backed with a new live album called ‘Live At Umbra Penumbra’, which was recorded at the titular Portland cafe in September 1994.
Last year, Bright Eyes covered Smith’s ‘St. Ides Heaven’ as part of a special reissue of their 1998 album ‘Letting Off The Happiness’. The cover appeared on the ‘Letting Off The Happiness: A Companion’ release that was part of the band’s project of reissuing all nine of their studio albums with a companion EP.