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There’s a strange healing that comes from a long ride by yourself. Something about the sensation of continual forward movement, the openness of the road contributing to the openness of your head. Even when it gets lonely — and it does get lonely, it has to — there’s a magic to it. Wherever you are, you’re going there. That’s what David Bazan is singing about in “Yellow Bike,” the first single released from Pedro the Lion’s forthcoming Phoenix. Out January 18 via Polyvinyl, it’s the first Pedro the Lion record since 2004’s short-stories-as-songs collection Achilles Heel. Though he hasn’t utilized the name since 2005’s God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, David Bazan is Pedro the Lion, and as a result, Phoenix picks up the threads connecting his late ‘90s and early 2000s albums under the Pedro banner to the remarkable string of albums he’s recorded under his own name: difficult lessons learned by children, squandered inheritance, the messes of others, and the ones you make yourself. “Yellow Bike” is about motion, on a childhood bike or over highways carved across our nation, about the first steps one takes away from home. It’s about how far life takes you from the places you’re from, and all the numerous ways you never really leave them. Inspired by Bazan’s childhood in Arizona, “Yellow Bike” offers a beautiful meditation the need for interpersonal connection and a deep inner life, and about how the needs so often feel at odds. “Some folks are loners and you learn from them/If you’ve always been a joiner on the move again,” Bazan sings, his words thematically tied to Sean Lane’s drums. “But if you keep your legs pumping despite everything/Well you can take that sting, you can make it swing.” Pedro the Lion is back, but “Yellow Bike” is a testament to how David Bazan never went away. words/j woodbury

One Response to “Pedro the Lion :: Yellow Bike”

  1. Damn good – quite moving, emotionally – thank you…

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