I just learned about the existence of Judee Sill. The songs I listened to remind me of Joni Mitchell. She also spent time in Laurel Canyon. After the lyrics to the song I have included a short documentary the BBC did on Judee.
Judith Lynne Sill (October 7, 1944 – November 23, 1979) was an American singer and songwriter. The first artist signed to David Geffen’s Asylum label, she released two albums on Asylum and partially completed a third album before dying of a drug overdose in 1979. Her eponymous debut album was released in late 1971 and was followed about 18 months later by Heart Food. In 1974, she recorded demos for a third album, which never was completed. The demos were released posthumously with other rarities on the 2005 two-disc collection Dreams Come True.
Sill was influenced by Bach, especially his suites, while lyrically her work drew substantially on Christian themes of rapture and redemption.
Judee Sill was released on September 15, 1971. It was the first album on David Geffen’s Asylum label. Backing musicians include John Beck and Jim Pons from the Leaves. While the majority of the album was produced by Henry Lewy, Graham Nash handled the duties for the single “Jesus Was a Cross Maker”, with his production designed to aim for radio airplay.
The song I chose from that album is, “Crayon Angels.”
In 2017 Intervention Records reissued Judee Sill on 180-gram double 45RPM vinyl. The reissue earned a score of 10 for sound quality from noted vinyl critic Michael Fremer.
Sill had played piano since her childhood, and honed her skills at reform school in the early 1960s where she was sent for forging checks. After a drugs bust, Sill spent time in jail where she kicked her heroin addiction and made a promise to pursue a songwriting career.
Crayon Angel songs are slightly out of tune
But I’m sure I’m not to blame
Nothing’s happened, but I think it will soon
So I sit here waiting for God and a train
To the Astral plane
Magic rings I made have turned my finger green,
And my mystic roses died
Guess reality is not as it seems
So I sit here hoping for truth, and a ride
To the other side
Phony prophets stole the only light I knew
And the darkness softly screamed
Holy visions disappeared from my view,
But the angels come back and laugh in my dreams
I wonder what it means?