Back in August, Chromatics announced that the band was breaking up after 20 years. While we may never see the release of their way-too anticipated Dear Tommy, the group’s library of italo-disco-leaning synthpop marked a distinct period in indie music’s boon in the 2000s. Chromatics singer Ruth Radelet was always a radiant presence at the front of the band and today she just released her first solo track since the breakup.
A cover of Elliott Smith’s epic “Twilight,” Radelet captures the beauty of Smith’s softly stated poetic lyrics, but with an aesthetic distinct to her time with Chromatics. Released via the Kill Rock Stars label, the song is part of the year-long Stars Rock Kill (Rock Stars) 30th Anniversary overs series. More importantly, though, it marks a rebirth for Radelet’s as a solo artist. She shared a statement on the impact of Elliott’s music on her career:
“Growing up in Portland, I couldn’t help but be influenced by Elliott Smith – his music was just in the water there. I still feel a sort of homesick nostalgia every time I hear one of his songs, and I’ll forever associate his music with the rainy weather and the gritty, small town feeling Portland had back then.
Elliott was a brilliant songwriter, and I have always been blown away by his ability to craft such lovely, catchy melodies around devastatingly sad lyrics. Twilight is a beautiful example of that, and one of my favorite songs he ever wrote. I first had the idea to cover it many years ago and am grateful for the opportunity to do so for Kill Rock Stars, who have released so much of Elliott’s work and have been such an important force in Northwest music history.
This one’s for you, Elliott, thank you for everything.”
Listen to Ruth Radelet’s cover of “Twilight” by Elliott Smith above.