It just goes to show how blind I can be, because I never thought that mingling something so wonderfully carefree with something so unutterably tragic could be beautiful. Elise Burke’s essay on The Smile Sessions, and her recollections of her sister paint an interweaving picture of two worlds: one personal and physical, the other fleeting as music tends to be. The essay weaves easily between memory and descriptions and lore behind The Smile Sessions, giving us a solid grasp of why this album, this band, was so important to them.
Interspersed throughout the pieces of background that tell the story behind The Smile Sessions are images and memories of her sister that strike vividly, such as her carrying around a trash bag full of rattling cassettes, or playing on the beach. Yet in spite of all these detailed, personal moments, we never learn her sister’s name. In the end, I guess we’re all wondering for answers.