Marissa Nadler, whose July LP was released in February on Sacred Bones Records, has just released the digital EP Before July: Demos & Unreleased Songs. Her cover of Elliott Smith’s “Pitseleh” is now streaming.
Before going into Avast Studios, Nadler spent many months writing and recording songs that would become her album July. The multi-tracked vocal approach to the demo sessions helped to create the richly layered harmonies that are showcased on the Randall Dunn-produced album.
“Leave The Light On” and “The Rose City” are both unheard demos from this writing period. “The Rose City” would later lead to the creation of both “Drive” and “Holiday In” in terms of its lyrical content. The EP also features “Dead City Emily” and “1923” in their early form, containing different lyrics and melodies.
Nadler, a longtime Elliott Smith fan, learned “Pitseleh” and “The White Lady Loves You More” for a tribute to the late songwriter in Brooklyn last year at Glasslands. She later recorded a proper cover of “Pitseleh” after the tribute concert’s success.