“She Was Weird” by Pete Yorn
Song of the Day
“In the time, I got to know her
She revealed she was weird
Broken nails, I would never
Try to leave something real”
Pete Yorn’s “She Was Weird” is the 5th Song and 3rd Single released off of 2016’s Arrangingtime. Pete has stated that it was one of the first tracks he wrote for the album, possibly written in 2011. He has likened the track to a Tom Petty kind of sound but went on to explain that he came to the song wanting a different kind of feel and production than a Petty-kind-of-number. He ultimately achieved this by adding a bit of an R&B sensibility to the song, which is especially noticeable in the beat of the song’s chorus.
The song has been compared to My Morning Jacket taking on Radiohead’s “High and Dry”, by Entertainment Weekly’s reviewer Eric Renner Brown. I can hear his comparison and recognize it, but to me, there’s something more going on in the song, something with pop-meets-power-pop, with a catchiness that is tempered by the complexity in the songwriting, both lyrically and sonically.
Lyrically, “She Was Weird” hits me more than most Radiohead songs tend to. And, as with other Pete Yorn songs, there is that element of mystery to it. I listen and think I can see the story, identify the characters within, and interpret the emotional landscape, but honestly, it’s always just out of reach, and never quite 100% definable.
To me, that’s a brilliant way to write a song. It creates an open field for listener interpretations to play and allows us all to attach our own personal definitions. By doing that, we make the songs our own, which is one of the ways in which music becomes something permanent in our musical muscle memories. It is what helps songs affix to our sonic hard drives.
“She Was Weird” also possesses a sing-a-long quality that builds as we near the end of the song. It feels as if the song was crafted, in part, with a live audience in mind. Can’t you just hear the crowd synching up at that juncture when the lyrics overlap? When “got left on the side of the road” meets up with “I’m looking for you”?
Around this time last year, Pete Yorn launched a contest to see which one of his fans could create an artistic, imaginative visual to “She Was Weird”.
“We held a contest to see who could come up with the most creative and inspiring visual take on the song. The only criteria was that they shoot it themselves on an iPhone or have a friend shoot it,” Yorn told Vogue.com.
Brazilian model Flávia Lucini took notice of Yorn’s contest and was inspired to create a piece to submit.
“When I learned about the Pete Yorn video contest, I immediately called my friend and art partner Rogerio Mesquita who is a photographer and filmmaker,” Lucini tells Vogue.com. “We somehow knew that we could go on full creative mode on this project and not hold back for a second. We listened to the song several times. We loved it from the beginning, it was very inspirational.”
The result sees Lucini strutting through the streets of New York City, with her figure painted blue, inspired by Hindu deity, Vishnu (see video above).
For me, as a self-admitted “weird girl”, this song has resonated since my very first listen. That special thing, that unforgettable something that makes people unique, strange, and yes, weird, is that part of someone that always sticks with me. It’s what echoes within even after they are gone. That part of someone I’ve fallen in love with.
Listening again to “She Was Weird”, I notice a sense of loss in the song. I hear a bit of unrequited-ness that dangles somewhere between the chorus and verse. But, I also feel the distinct memory of a lover, and a love, that remains unshakable – even though it sounds like the love is long over.
Maybe you see them again someday. Maybe you don’t. But, you never forget.
Maybe they were only meant to be temporary. Maybe you had to leave them behind. But, you never forget.
The weird ones stick with you. Forever.