Serge and Brigitte. Lee and Nancy. Lou and Nico. Pete and Scarlett.
Well, maybe Yorn and Johansson aren’t quite yet in that rarified air of legendary male/female duos, but if you thought 2009’s Break Up was a one-album fling, you don’t know Pete.
Yorn and Johansson have just released the Apart EP (Capitol), featuring four new songs and a reworking of “Tomorrow” (a standout from ArrangingTime, Yorn’s underrated 2016 LP). While not as essential as a proper Yorn release, Apart is further proof he’s a multi-talented, first-rate songwriter in it for the long haul. The EP’s first single is “Bad Dreams,” which has a trippy and terrific Sophie Muller-directed video:
We were immediately smitten with the then 27-year-old Yorn when he released his musicforthemorningafterdebut in 2010. (At the time, Johansson was 16 and a relatively unknown actress starring in cult classic Ghost World, not the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America she is now.) Yorn’s debut stands up to this day, which is why we deemed the gold-selling album a MAGNET Classic last year:
As for the aforementioned ArrangingTime, upon its release, we said it showed Yorn to be a “power-pop genius on full display,” calling “Roses” an “instant classic.” (At the time, Johansson was playing Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow—for the fifth time—in Captain America: Civil War, the highest-grossing film of 2016.) ArrangingTime spent only one week on the Billboard album chart (at #63), but we loved it anyway:
Yorn’s never hid his hero worship for fellow Jersey boy Bruce Springsteen. In fact, he wears it proudly on his jean jacket’s raggedy sleeve. So it’s no surprise that back in 2010 (while Johansson was playing Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow—for the first time—in Iron Man 2, the third-highest-grossing film of the year), when we asked Yorn to be our boss for the week and guest edit our website, he wrote about, well, his boss: The Boss. At the time, Yorn was supporting his self-titled fifth album; it spent only one week on the Billboard album chart (at #66), but we loved the Frank Black-produced LP anyway. But back to Pete on who’s the boss:
Pete Yorn was the culmination of a very prolific two-year period for Yorn. In 2009, he released Back & Fourth, another solid effort that spent a full five weeks on the Billboard album chart and peaked at #32. At the time, Johansson was starring with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly and Bradley Cooper in He’s Just Not That Into You, which grossed more than $181 million worldwide. But she was also slumming it a little, gearing up for the release of Break Up with Yorn. (We’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you Break Up spent nine weeks on the Billboard album chart, peaking at #41; guess Scarlett gives Pete a little more Billboard stamina.) And what better a way for a rocker and a movie star to promote an album called Break Up than an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
So Pete and Scarlett had a Break Up in 2009 and are Apart in 2018. Here’s hoping for Together in 2027. It can be the final installment in their musical Before trilogy.