11 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“If your way is clear I’ll be waiting here,” Judee Sill sings on the deceptively upbeat sounding “Phantom Cowboy.” These words might serve as in invitation to the intrepid listener of today who, after wading through the work of her more famous contemporaries, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and others, finally finds solace in Sill’s near perfect brand of country-infused mysticism. Released on David Geffen’s nascent Asylum imprint in 1972, Judee Sill was the work of a deeply troubled woman whose traumatic childhood and subsequent heroin addiction left as deep a mark on her music as her conservatory training and impeccable voice. On her self-titled debut, Sill flits from genre to genre, dabbling in whispery faux-country, baroque tinged meditations on the cosmos, and elliptical chamber folk with the unselfconscious ease of a past master. Rather than confronting her demons head on, Sill expresses her fears and doubts through the use of heavily coded Christian symbolism redolent of Chris Bell’s similarly troubled and allusive I Am the Cosmos. In 1973 Sill would go on to release the lush Heart Food, her masterpiece, but her debut still serves as the best introduction to her expansive musical universe.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“If your way is clear I’ll be waiting here,” Judee Sill sings on the deceptively upbeat sounding “Phantom Cowboy.” These words might serve as in invitation to the intrepid listener of today who, after wading through the work of her more famous contemporaries, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and others, finally finds solace in Sill’s near perfect brand of country-infused mysticism. Released on David Geffen’s nascent Asylum imprint in 1972, Judee Sill was the work of a deeply troubled woman whose traumatic childhood and subsequent heroin addiction left as deep a mark on her music as her conservatory training and impeccable voice. On her self-titled debut, Sill flits from genre to genre, dabbling in whispery faux-country, baroque tinged meditations on the cosmos, and elliptical chamber folk with the unselfconscious ease of a past master. Rather than confronting her demons head on, Sill expresses her fears and doubts through the use of heavily coded Christian symbolism redolent of Chris Bell’s similarly troubled and allusive I Am the Cosmos. In 1973 Sill would go on to release the lush Heart Food, her masterpiece, but her debut still serves as the best introduction to her expansive musical universe.

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