SANTA MONICA, California — It's not exactly Musicfortheyearafter, but Pete Yorn has made a sequel of sorts to his acclaimed debut.
"I guess that Musicforthemorningafter was like the end of the relationship and dealing with that and being fine with that and being ready to move on," the singer/songwriter said after a recent afternoon of bowling. "The songs on Day I Forgot are kind of about finding strength within yourself and preparing to get into a new relationship. So the next record will probably be a bunch of dirty love songs, the blossoming of love or something. And then I could start all over again."
When not plotting his next breakup, Yorn has been spending much of his time relishing life lately. While the most memorable moments on his last album were melancholy ones, Day I Forgot, due Tuesday (April 15), comes from a happier place.
"It's like Ferris Bueller says, if you don't stop and take a look around, life moves pretty quick, you might miss it," Yorn mused, explaining the album's title. "People seem to get real busy in their day-to-day routines and get caught up in the drama and all that and it kind of all turns into a blur. And it's just a reminder, to me anyway, to just kind of slow down and enjoy life. Like going bowling in the afternoon ... on a school day."
Yorn is so focused on the present that even songs like the first single, "Come Back Home" (about "remembering where you came from"), have taken on new meaning.
"Now I hear it and I picture my little bunk on the tour bus, and that's like coming home again because I've been off the road for like nine months," Yorn said. "So it's kind of opposite right now."
For the video, Yorn invited a collective of burgeoning filmmakers called the A/V Club to film him playing and hanging out around his house.
"It just kind of helps you feel the song and kind of shows me in a regular light," said Yorn, wearing a yellow T-shirt so vintage there were holes in the sleeves. "I think the song kind of has a nostalgia feel to it. I get nostalgic very easily. I'll leave here and be like, 'Oh, remember I was sitting in the MTV studios.' I'll get all weird about it."
Yorn lets his nostalgic side show through on a few Day I Forgot tracks, especially "Burrito," on which he sings about "waiting around at 7-Eleven" before visiting his first crush.
"Growing up in Jersey, all that you could do in my town was drink beer in the woods, hang out at a friend's house and smoke weed, or hang out at the 7-Eleven and look for trouble or whatever," he recalled. "The verses are like hanging out at the 7-Eleven, and the chorus is all the love story. It's just a silly song."
Still, the song fits in with the Yorn's embracing-of-life theme. "I'm still hanging out at 7-Elevens!" he said with a smile. "When we're on tour, it's like every night we're pulling over to some sort of truck stop or something, and my bass player, Terry, he loves the microwave burritos. And I'm always like, 'I'm not eating that crap.' And then I'm always like, 'Can I have a bite?' "
Burritos aside, Day I Forgot is very much a relationship record, dealing with jealousy ("Long Way Down"), commitment ("Committed") and unconventional dating ("So Much Work"), among other topics.
The album's most poignant moment is perhaps "Crystal Village," about the first few times spent with someone. "You could be really into somebody the first week and fall asleep together and then wake up the next morning and you're not into it for some reason," Yorn explained. "You can't really explain why, but I think relationships in their early stages are just very fragile."
Like Musicforthemorningafter, the new album was recorded in a garage with producer R. Walt Vincent (with the help of R.E.M. producer Scott Litt and longtime Yorn collaborator Ken Andrews). Yorn again played most of the instruments, although R.E.M.'s Peter Buck contributed the mandolin on "Man in Uniform."
Buck and Yorn collaborated on two other tracks, which will likely show up as B-sides, along with two different covers of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" (one with his original backing singers) and several other outtakes from Day I Forgot.
Yorn is promoting the album with a North American tour beginning April 21 in San Francisco. Grandaddy, Rooney and the Year of the Rabbit — all handpicked by Yorn — are opening on the trek.
First, though, Yorn will play special shows at Tower Records stores in New York (Tuesday) and Los Angeles (Saturday).