Unheard Elliott Smith track ‘Ocean’ written at age 14 emerges – listen

The song was discovered during the making of new documentary 'Heaven Adores You'

A previously unheard track from the late Elliott Smith has surfaced, which was written by the singer when he was 14 years old.

‘Ocean’ was discovered during the making of a new documentary, Heaven Adores You, which also features rare archival footage of the singer and is directed by Nickolas Rossi.

The track was recently played to the public for the first time on the Portland Radio Project and is available to stream. Scroll down to listen at around the 32-minute mark.


The track does not, however, appear on the film’s official soundtrack.

Speaking about the track, film producer Kevin Moyer gave some history around its recording. “It’s a song I don’t think anyone has ever heard before… It’s from his Texas days,” he explained, elaborating that Smith and three of his friends would meet up to play Led Zeppelin covers around that time before graduating to “jamming” and writing their own songs.

“This song is something from 1984,” says Moyer of ‘Ocean’. “Elliott was 14 years old… It’s interesting because it’s one of the first songs that as they were writing, Elliott would make lyrics for it. It’s keyboards, guitars, and Elliott singing. They did the keyboards and guitars first, and then Elliott came back and [fellow musician] Steve Pickering convinced him, for demo purposes, to sing. I don’t think Elliott was a singer at that point, but they kind of pushed him to sing it, and he did. It’s probably one of the first songs that they did that actually has lyrics.”

Heaven Adores You will receive its UK premiere at Leeds International Film Festival on November 18.