New music from a number of Elliott Smith’s old friends has crossed our path this summer, from a solo set by Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle to Aaron Embry’s LP, to (his former basketball buddy) Ben Folds’ reunion record. This convergence springs to mind particularly in light of Smith’s birthday on Monday and the fact that he was responsible for bringing many of these guys to my attention in the early ’00s. The biggest connection arrived today, though, as Earlimart shared the first taste of their new album, System Preferences. We’ve heard Smith’s heavy influence on much of their earlier work (e.g. Treble and Tremble), but “97 Heart Attack” finds his impact still intact. Simply put, a few spins through this track and the LP’s September 18th due date couldn’t come soon enough. Hear it above.