Photo by Ben Kaye
American Laundromat will pay respects to Elliott Smith on October 14th with the release of a new covers album, Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith. Ahead of the due date, we’ve already heard contributions from Juliana Hatfield (“Needle in the Hay”), Julien Baker (“Ballad of Big Nothing”), and Yuck (“Bled White”). Today, the label has shared J. Mascis’ take on “Waltz #2 (XO)”.
Unlike other contributions on the album, the Dinosaur Jr. frontman’s offering isn’t exactly a cover. Instead, Mascis almost entirely reimagines the song, including completely different lyrics that somehow still hint at Smith’s original content. Phrases like “I’m tired,” “leave me alone,” and “on and on and on” are lifted from the original, but they’re used in totally different ways. It’s still a waltz (barely), only Mascis presents it in the sort of crunchy alternative he’s most known for.
Take a listen below.