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Song of the Week

Pete Yorn – Elizabeth Taylor

“I’ll find my own way home,” Pete Yorn sings at the top of his exhilarating new album, Hawaii. Lonesome as that notion may sound, there’s actually something ecstatic, something triumphant in its delivery, a commitment to survival and self-reliance in the face of doubt and uncertainty. “I’ve always been drawn to symbolism in my songwriting,” Yorn explains from his home in Los Angeles. “With any given lyric, there’s always something more going on beneath the surface.” The same can be said of Hawaii as a whole. Written and recorded with Day Wave’s Jackson Phillips, the album serves as something of a sequel to Yorn’s critically acclaimed 2019 release, Caretakers, building off the intoxicating creative chemistry the pair discovered on their last go around and elevating things both sonically and emotionally as it grapples with growth and change, escape and anxiety, independence and isolation. The songs here are driving and propulsive, delivered with rich, three-dimensional arrangements that draw on everything from ’60s surf rock and ’70s punk to ’80s Britpop and ’90s indie rock, and Phillips’ production work is suitably raw and cinematic, muscular in all the right places without sacrificing an ounce of vulnerability. “I knew I wanted to make an energetic album,” says Yorn, “and the pace we were working at really reflected that. We’d get together once a week and bang out a new song every single time.”

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