A few months ago, I was on a serious Pete Yorn kick. The singer-songwriter, whose best-known album is his 2001 debut Musicforthemorningafter, has put out several quality albums over the past two decades, including 2003’s Day I Forgot and 2006’s Nightcrawler. In 2016, he released a really good (and largely unheralded) comeback record, ArrangingTime, which arrived after a six-year hiatus.
Because Yorn himself is unassuming and workmanlike, he’s often been overshadowed by some of the flashier rock artists of the early ’00s. But for all the talk about Is This It, White Blood Cells, Fever To Tell, and Turn On The Bright Lights, Yorn’s early records are just as worthy of canonization. While the ruggedly handsome New Jersey native looks like an archetypal alt-country/folkie straight out of central casting, Yorn always drew from a wider musical well, bringing atmospheric ’80s pop-rock and shambolic ’90s indie into the heartland rock fold.
One day, I decided to blindly reach out to Yorn on Twitter and ask if he would want to come on my podcast. I wanted to talk to him about his career, and find out how’s he’s managed to stick around despite never being anyone’s flavor of the month. To my surprise, Yorn responded and agreed to chat. Even better, he had new music to promote — a just-announced EP with friend Scarlett Johansson called Apart, the followup to their 2009 collaborative album Break Up, due out June 1. Thanks Twitter! I can’t believe you were good for once!