Release Date: Jun 4, 2013
Record label: Harvest
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
As a member of the Olms, Pete Yorn takes some time off from the stress of trying to make a living in the music biz to make some good, low-key music instead. Working together with his friend J.D. King, Yorn has never sounded better. For their debut self-titled album, Yorn and King wrote the songs as a team, trade off vocals, and play all the instruments.
Some three years since Pete Yorn released his decidedly lo-fi self-titled album – his fifth, but first time working with Frank Black as producer – he seems to have found a kindred spirit in fellow songwriter J.D. King. The pair initially met through mutual friends a few years back when King began dating Johnny’s Ramone’s widow, Linda. Although much less is known about King than Yorn, (he has only one self-released disc to his credit), he comes across like a curious trove of eccentricities with his mid-century digs and enthusiasm for old gear, odd instruments and 78 RPM vinyl – all the more funky since he’s not yet 30 years old.
With The Olms, Pete Yorn is retracing his own footprints. In 2009, he made a very underrated LP, Break Up, with actress/singer Scarlett Johansson. The project’s obvious progenitors, ones admitted by Yorn himself, are the late ‘60’s duet albums by Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg. Though unabashedly contemporary in its indie indifference and Starbucks crowd appeal, Break Up is an album drenched in all things retro: the production relaxes the already relaxed music, the vocals are often filtered through old-timey telephone effects, and, hell, they threw in a cover of an overlooked Chris Bell track (“I Am the Cosmos”) for good measure.