I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t previously been aware of Scarlett Johansson’s extensive music career, but it’s pretty formidable, spanning over a decade – so I hereby apologise. Pete Yorn has likewise amassed a prodigious back catalogue, dating back as far as 2001. The pair have joined forces on their new EP, the ethereal ‘Apart’, the follow up to their 9 track album, ‘Break Up’, released in 2009.
Pete Yorn is known for covering in his live shows, songs from those artists who have most influenced him. These have included tracks from the likes of The Smiths, and Bruce Springsteen. For ‘Apart’, he’s reworked a track by Brooklyn based band, The Echo Friendly. Originally recorded as ‘Worried’, on ‘Apart’ it becomes ‘Bad Dreams’, an upbeat song which has been selected as the lead single. It comes with a music video showing Yorn and Johansson driving along a dark road in LA. Johansson pulls out a smudged piece of paper, on which was formerly an address, but now only says ‘Apart’ and some numbers. The clip, directed by Sophie Muller, is very Lynchian in its execution, and fittingly, there’s a twist in the tale.
The remaining four tracks on the EP are the opener, ”Iguana Bird’, a guitar-led song with an Americana vibe, and featuring duelling male/female vocals. This is followed by the afore-mentioned ‘Bad Dreams’, which marks a sort of halfway point between upbeat and slightly more downbeat songs. Track 3 is the electro/synthy ‘Movies’ which features some really lovely raspy falsetto from Yorn, as well as some gorgeous harmonies from Johansson. Fourth song ‘Cigarello’ sees the return of guitar rhythms and the Americana feel. There’s an overall “soundtrack” sound to ‘Apart’, which I suppose is very fitting considering what Johansson’s best known for.
Rounding out the EP is a remix of Yorn’s song ‘Tomorrow’, with the remixing being that Johansson’s vocals have been added. It’s very reminiscent of ‘Bad Dreams’, and works well as the closer.
Johansson said about the EP,
“Being able to revisit this project with Pete in a totally different context but within the same creative parameters is a unique artistic opportunity for me. It is always a pleasure to sing with Pete because I think our voices and stories complement each other.”
“Scarlett is one of the more professional non-professional musicians I’ve ever met. She comes in the studio and she just nails it. She’s one of the quickest studies. She’ll learn a song so fast and make it her own.”