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You might expect a band that calls itself Yarn to, naturally, tend to spin a yarn or two. “that’s what we do, we tell stories, live and in the studio, truth and fiction” singer/songwriter Blake Christiana insists. “We don’t always opt for consistency. There’s a different vibe onstage from what comes through in our recordings. There’s a difference in every show as well, you never know what you’re going to get.”
It was with that in mind that Yarn released a series of singles that were digitally released on the 13th of every month beginning in January 2018 and continuing throughout the year. Each “single” included an “A side”, a “B side” and an exclusive alternate version of one of the songs. Naturally, there’s no better name for the project than “Lucky 13.” 24 of those tracks are now available on the albums, Lucky 13 Vol. 1 and Lucky 13 Vol. 2, just released on June 13, 2019.
“These are essentially road stories,” Christiana says. “There’s an overriding theme that links these songs in a very broad sort of way, but again, the stories are not to be taken literally. The intention was to share the feeling of what it’s like to spend time travelling from city to city, with all the unlikely experiences that can be encountered along the way.
“People always ask us to tell them road stories,” singer guitarist Rod Hohl adds. “While this batch of songs aren’t exactly literal road stories, most deal with some degree of adventure and adversity as inspired by our tours and treks around the country. Yet like any good story, there’s an imaginative element to it as well. That’s why we’ve decided to release alternate versions of some of the tracks, to provide a glance at the oddities that exist just beyond sight...”
The titles of these tracks summarize the stories at a glance. Hohl describes “Sioux City,” “Road Less Traveled” and “Hurricane” as adventure stories as seen from the perspective of the road. “Too Young” re-imagines that road as an analogy, the highway of life. “Weary,” as title implies, describes the toll taken by that seemingly endless journey. However, there’s also hope on the horizon; “Heaven in You” suggests that there is an oasis out there somewhere. “Promised Land” and “American Dream” offer reason why one might choose to embark upon that sojourn in the first place.
Yarn have never been content to simply ride a wave and see where it takes them. Their last album, This Is the Year, was celebratory in tone and boldly optimistic. A seamless blend of vibrant, inspired, back porch melodies and narrative, descriptive lyrics, it detailed the challenges one faces when life is jolted off its bearings and, in reevaluating relationships, tough choices must be made that sometimes skirting the rules. It was recorded in the aftermath of real life challenges that left the band splintered and unsure of their forward trajectory.
1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403