Slowcoustic Essential: J. Tillman – 2003 Tour/Self-Titled EP

J. Tillman Tour EP Cover

J. Tillman Tour EP Cover

(Full Size Cover)

I have a real treat for you all today in the form of a fairly rare tour EP from a young Joshua Tillman that now seems well out of print and hard to find by those outside of inner circles of the Seattle folk scene.  While this isn’t the first time I have heard these particular songs, they now find themselves in a ‘more official’ recording than previous versions* – there is even cover art!  As well, let’s be honest, I obsess over all things J. Tillman, so another version of these songs is more than welcome in my life.

The songs & this EP harken back to the early days of J. Tillman and I believe they come in around the 2002/2003 period from the disc that was sold at some local shows (so I have called it a “Tour” EP, but it might simply be a self-titled EP).  The gentleman, that shall remain nameless, who provided the EP for posting has had it for around 8 years and was more than happy to see it get a bit of love.  And love is all I have for it.

If you have been following Tillman’s recordings, you know that his first recorded albums “I Will Return” & “Long May You Run, J. Tillman” are some of the most stark singer songwriter recordings around and these 4 tracks are right at home alongside them.  With Tillman’s well known penchant of quick recordings and a more lo-fi one-take feel, this should surprise no one that these songs are not a standard studio quality recording (you can notice an audible hum that runs through the entire set, more so in headphones).  These songs are the hushed moments, the stark & beautiful songs that truly feature Tillman’s pitch perfect breathy vocals and the just right acoustic strumming of a lone guitar.  This is the stuff that created “Slowcoustic”.  This is the stuff that gets in my bones and never sounds tired.  Ever.

“Let Me Put You Under Both My Wings”
“The Heart is a Valve”
“Every Word Was Split in Two”
“The Queen of Swing”

One of the great things about a recording like this surfacing is it allows rare recordings to be heard by many (often for the first time) but I also recognize that this is also what makes a recording like this even better.  It’s rarity.   So, unlike my normal standard of leaving all mp3s up at all times, this recording will be taken down in the near future.  Please grab it now as I won’t send out requested copies after the links are removed…they may get a re-post in the future though, you never know…

~Smansmith

* this recording is not to be confused with the same songs from “Untitled No. 1” or “Demo Cassette” versions.