Pete Yorn

Every Monday (“Music Mondays”), Pete Yorn’s SoundCloud page provides fans access to some of his rare B side and unreleased tracks. This week, the album version of “Broken Bottle” off Yorn’s 2007 release “Nightcrawler” was posted. “Broken Bottle” is neither B side nor unreleased. So why was it posted?

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/29803015″]

Three guesses (in order of most cynical to least, or, if you prefer, from least likely to most likely): 1) Pete Yorn seeks to advance interest in “Nightcrawler” as a whole (“Nightcrawler” was less acclaimed than 2001’s certified Gold album “musicforthemorningafter” or 2003’s “Day I Forgot” which reached as high as 18 on the Billboard 200); 2) Pete Yorn simply did not have a suitable B side or unreleased track ready to provide the masses or; 3) something about the song lends itself to loosely classify it as a B side or unreleased track for an as of yet unapparent reason.

While #1 fails because it is unlikely a new audience would be significantly reached since these tracks are posted on Pete Yorn’s Facebook and Soundcloud pages, Reason #2 (while altogether plausible) sheds no light on why “Broken Bottle” was selected as opposed to any other previous track on any other previous album. Option #3, however, can be further explored for both musical and lyrical clues.

Musically, the track begins with a winding and haunting electric guitar reminiscent of the introduction to “Last Goodbye” off the late Jeff Buckley’s album “Grace”. 20 seconds into “Broken Bottle”, however, a simple and noticeable acoustic guitar rhythm enters in typical Pete Yorn style, similar to his most notable tracks “Crystal Village”, and “For Nancy (‘Cos it Already Is)”. It is doubtful, then, after a familiar return to his musical markings that Pete Yorn is attempting to draw attention to certain aspects of the track’s musicianship. To the listener, that leaves the song’s lyrical content to inspect.

Fans have commented on Pete Yorn’s Facebook page they, “wanna go back to [2007]” (when the album was released) after listening to “Broken Bottle”. While I’m hesitant to turn back the clocks solely for the sake of re-hearing a song for the first time, I can understand why such an emotion was evoked. When the song’s wistful rememberer, Jesse, opens with, “Sandy I don’t recognize you, So much has changed in your face” a listener could be able to relate to similar circumstances (2007 or not) in his or her own life caused by a significant happening, the passing of time, and a chance re-encounter sometime in the future. Almost nonchalantly, Sandy replies to Jesse a few lines later, “I don’t think you have to recognize me.”

Ultimately, for life-long Pete Yorn fans and those checking into “Music Mondays” for the first time alike, “Broken Bottle” is still an appropriate non-B side, non unreleased track selection to further the purpose of “Music Mondays”. Perhaps the track ages itself without having to be actually aged, and performs the mental gymnastics of recollection on the listener without being literally recalled from the depths of forgotten studio sessions. All this is done in three minutes and forty seconds, so you won’t have to relive all of 2007 (or whichever year) in order to compare them with your present circumstance.

 

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