Former Chromatics Singer Ruth Radelet Goes Solo, Shares Elliott Smith Cover

Robin Laananen

Former Chromatics Singer Ruth Radelet Goes Solo, Shares Elliott Smith Cover

Robin Laananen

For well over a decade, Ruth Radelet sang the breathy, still vocals for Chromatics, the elusive and cultishly beloved synthpop group. This past August, Radelet and all the other non-Johnny Jewel Chromatics announced that the group had broken up. These days, Radelet is making her music on her own. She’s just shared her first solo single, a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Twilight.”

The original “Twilight” came out on From A Basement On The Hill, the collection of Elliott Smith songs that came out a year after the man’s death. Radelet recorded her cover for Stars Rock Kill (Rock Stars), the collection of covers that’s being released in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the influential indie Kill Rock Stars. Radelet’s version of “Twilight” is warmer and more organic than her Chromatics work, but she’s still got that weirdly soothing eeriness in her voice. Listen to Radelet’s version and the Elliott Smith original below.

Ruth Radelet says:

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.

Radelet’s “Twilight” cover is out now on Kill Rock Stars.

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