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’s with that in mind that Yarn has announced a series of singles that will be digitally released on the 13th of every month beginning in January and continuing throughout the year. Each “single” will include 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.”
“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 traveling 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 the 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 a reason why one might choose to embark upon that sojourn in the first place.
Yarn has 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 re-evaluating 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.
“We were dealing with real-life issues,” Christiana said at the time. “Broken relationships, a sense of having to regroup and put some things — and people — behind us. That’s what I was writing about lyrically in the new songs and it became kind of a catharsis. Nothing was contrived. We didn’t have to relate to it in the third person. We were living these circumstances, and that gave us the impetus and inspiration to share our sentiments. Ultimately those setbacks and difficulties led to new opportunities and allowed a little light to shine through.”