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WATCH: Pete Yorn Unplugs at SPIN

The Jersey boy mellows out on songs from his gritty new album, plus a cover of Diana Ross!

Peter Gaston // November 2, 2010

Pete Yorn’s new, self-titled album finds the New Jersey-born singer-songwriter making a confident return to his roots, with taut, gritty power pop and plaintive, reflective lyrics covering love, life, and childhood, all produced by Pixies frontman Frank Black. Yorn recently stopped by the SPIN office to share three of those tunes, an oldie, and a surprising cover for our staff. Watch the video below!

Yorn whipped out a harmonica to accompany the snappy new single “Velcro Shoes,” a fond reminiscence on childhood (you can download the album version here), and uncorked a few winsome whoa-oh-ohs on “The Chase,” a musing on grown-up love. Meanwhile, “Future Life” was a bit darker, a starkly honest self-evaluation.

Before dipping into his catalog to play “Closet,” off his 2001 breakthrough musicforthemorningafter, Yorn offered up an unexpectedly awesome cover of Diana Ross’ “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To),” a 1975 No. 1 hit. Finger-picking the melody, Yorn unearthed the song’s mournful core.

Watch the videos below, and tell us what you think of Pete Yorn’s unplugged set in the comments.

VIDEO BY MATT JACOBY / AUDIO BY TOM BEAUJOUR