Pete Yorn pays homage to old favorites in his new EP
In celebration of the 20 year anniversary of his debut album, musicforthemorningafter, singer/songwriter Pete Yorn has released his newest project, Rooftop. The EP is made up of four songs: “Rooftop,” “Panic,” “Life on a Chain” and “Lose You,” and was released on May 5th through Columbia Legacy.
The title track, “Rooftop,” is a mellow, indie folk song with striking lyrics. The opening lines, “Coming over the rooftop baby/ Coming over the rooftop/ Would you save me? / Cuz I’m not okay,” send a melancholic wave over the listener, which is only amplified later with lyrics such as, “If the rain comes down/ Let it come down.” In an interview with The Key, Yorn confesses, “It’s an important song for me thematically, what it says to me and the feeling it gives me.” “Rooftop” had been recorded for Yorn’s debut album but didn’t make the cut, only later was it released as a bonus track on his album Back & Forth. In the same interview, Yorn talks about the decision not to include “Rooftop” on musicforthemorningafter: “I’m not sure why that was one of the songs that didn’t make it, but to me it’s not a throwaway song by any stretch of the imagination.”
Track number two is a live, stripped-down version of The Smiths’ “Panic.” Recorded at the Philadelphia radio station Y100, Yorn’s version is a slower tempo than that of the original. The majority of the song is made up of just his voice and a guitar, with drums coming about halfway through for an intensified sound. Covering big-name artists such as The Smiths is nothing new for Yorn. Earlier this year, he released a Bandcamp exclusive album Pete Yorn Sings the Classics, a series of covers of songs from artists such as the Pixies, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan and more. The album is available for purchase on Bandcamp’s website.
The third song, “Life On a Chain,” is a live version of the opening track to musicforthemorningafter. It’s more uptempo than the rest of the album, with a catchy guitar riff and angsty lyrics giving insight to Yorn’s view on life at the time. He sings, “I was waiting over here for life to begin/ I was looking for the new thing”–two relatable lines for anyone who has experienced the throes of adolescent confusion and boredom.
“Lose You,” the fourth and final track on Rooftop, is another live version of a song from musicforthemorningafter, this one recorded during a live stream in July of 2020. The song is deeply personal and heart-wrenching. This version includes a spoken introduction, with Yorn saying: “This is a song that has a lot of different meanings to me, at the time I think I was a bit scared of some of the fleeting aspects of life, to the point where I was running from a lot of things. I was kind of like, ‘if you’re going to lose everything in the end, maybe it’s not worth having anything.’” He reflects on his pasts and finishes the intro by saying, “it’s a fearful way to live life, and you miss out.”
Rooftop is an honest, engaging collection of songs. Each track on the EP has its own distinct voice and comes together beautifully to form this captivating and standout project.