Certain Songs #1533: Pete Yorn – “June”

Album: musicforthemorningafter
Year: 2001

Holy shit, it was hard to pare down this album to just three songs to write about. So figure that “Black,” “Murray,” “Strange Condition” and “Sleep Better” were all considered, and I could have written perfectly respectable posts about any of them.

Instead, today, I’m going to go with a song that’s on the shortlist of Prettiest Songs Ever Recorded, Secret Indie Rocker on a Major Label Division, “June,” which starts off with a twinkling acoustic guitar, over which Yorn sings:

Pots and pans are indestructible
How do you respect your room?
If you hadn’t gone tomorrow
You could have stayed on ’til June

The fact that the words don’t necessarily make linear sense is one of the reason that I consider musicforthemorningafter a singer-songwriter album, because starting a lost love song with “pots and pans are indestructible” makes no damn sense, and yet I’ll allow it, because it’s so damn purty.

I’ll also allow Yorn’s weird-ass double-backbeat drumbeat, which comes in just after that opening verse, and its jaggedness provides a neat contrast with the softly double-tracked vocals and almost-makes-sense words.

It’s alright if I was older
It’s ok to lose your age
And I, want to follow you
I do, I do

At some point, there’s a stately electric piano hook that comes in over the jagged backbeat, added percussion and twinkling guitar, and you can get so lost in the quietly weird vibe of “June” you don’t even realize that the words have lodged so deep in your brain that they’d show up in a PET scan.


And you have stayed
A mile away from me
And you will stay
A mile away from me

If you know what’s good for you
You could have stayed until June

And then, after that, everything but the drums drop out, and “June” fades with just the drums, which have never quite righted themselves. But it doesn’t matter, not when he sadly wraps his voice around “a mile away from me” savoring every morsel of the beautiful melody line he’s written.

“June”

“June” Official Music Video

“June” live acoustic, 2016

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