Quintessential Albums :: Nightcrawler :: Pete Yorn

dj.mlwmkbst.1200x1200-75Quintessential Albums :: Nightcrawler (2006) :: Pete Yorn

Pete_Yorn_-_Jim_Wright

Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Jim Wright

A Little History:

Nightcrawler is the third full-length studio album released by singer Pete Yorn.

On release of Nightcrawler, in 2006, the album was described as exploring, and bringing full circle, the day-for-life metaphor (morning-day-night) which had begun with his debut album, musicforthemorningafter, in 2001, and continued through 2003’s Day I Forgot.

Pete was quoted as saying, “This new record is not so much for the night,” says Pete, “but for a later period in my life. The perspective I have comes from having lived more and experienced more.

On release, the album was described as being perhaps the most musically complex and fully realized album of Pete’s career (thus far), a wealth of striking harmonic textures and sophisticated chord shifts framed in a lyric sensibility that’s dark and hopeful and knowing and funny all at once.

Jason Killingsworth, writing in Paste magazine, said that Nightcrawler is “More daring and challenging than anything Pete Yorn’s done up to now.”

Pete was also quoted as saying in a 2006 interview with silentuproar.com, in regards to Nightcrawler, and the so-called “trilogy” of albums:

“I didn’t mean like a Star Wars trilogy where it’s one story at all.” Pete expressed, describing the albums as less than a “trilogy”, but more as a diary of sorts; a person gaining new life experiences and simply commenting on them in linear order. “So it’s a sort of continuing analysis of those topics, and the Nightcrawler LP would represent a later phase,” Pete said.

Nightcrawler included a few special guests. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) played drums on the track For Us, Butch Walker who produced, and played synth strings, piano, bass, percussion on the track Alive, and Martie Maguire played fiddle and Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) added backing vocals to the track The Man. The album includes a cover of the Warren Zevon song, Splendid Isolation.

The song, Same Thing, includes audio from the film, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? in the background.

The closing track, Bandstand in the Sky, was written shortly after Jeff Buckley’s death.

With the release of Nightcrawler, Pete toured extensively in support of it. He preceded every show with an instore acoustic appearance at an indie record shop in the town he was passing through, coined the You and Me Acoustic Tour (much like the recent tour Pete did at venues across the United States). All of these in-store performances were recorded, thus creating an extensive series of Live EP’s.

Nightcrawler was named one of the Top 20 records of 2006 by Paste magazine.

190047_10150190867017425_8082041_nKeep Art Alive :: Photo by Jim Wright

What Makes This “Quintessential” to me?

I could easily write about each of Pete Yorn’s albums as “quintessential” to me, and may do that eventually, as they all have tremendous musical meaning in my life, each for different reasons, but all have left an indelible mark. Nightcrawler specifically was a grower for me as a full album, mostly because the songs were not as initially linear as past albums, which caused the album to come off somewhat disjointed, at first.

After a few listens, though, that became part of what I love about this album. It feels like a great mix tape, with mood swings and tempo shifts, highs and lows, and emotional changes to create a flow and intensity to it that makes the best mixes, and this album, listenable. I look forward to the different places and stories each song takes me to, and find that each time I re-listen I decide on a new favorite song.

This album, out of all of Pete’s, is my favorite to drive to, and is a “must-have” on any road trips I take. It has all these great songs to sing-a-long to, and the every-changing feelings match the ever-changing scenery of a good road trip, especially up the coast, or through the desert landscape.

200080_10150190867982425_7234863_n

Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Jim Wright

My Top 5 Favorite Songs:
(this one changes all the time, but for today…)

1. The Man

“It’s clear to me,
you’re like the oceans and the light;
try and you’ll remember what you used to be.”

2. Maybe I’m Right

“I let you go,
you never put me out.
Stop it now,
just stop now…
And say, ‘I will’,
say, ‘I will’.”

3. Broken Bottle

“And your love is like a broken bottle.”

4. Splendid Isolation
(live version, at Bing Studios)

“I want to live alone in the desert,
I want to be like Georgia O’Keefe
I want to live on the Upper East Side,
and never go down in the street.”

5. Ice Age

“Those Summer years,
have long since gone.
Throw your arms around my neck,
and whisper softly,
of a thing that we will get.”

MI0003423482

Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Jim Wright