Pete Yorn returns with 'Back and Fourth'

Singer-songwriter performing March 15 in Boston

DETROIT -- Pete Yorn has tapped Bright Eyes/Saddle Creek principle Mike Mogis and Grammy Award-winner Rick Rubin to help usher him back into active duty with the June 23 release of "Back and Fourth," his first album since 2006's "Nightcrawler."

Yorn radically revamped his creative process for the new album. For "Back and Fourth's" intensely personal 10 tracks, he wrote lyrics first then spent two months in 2008 recording the album on Mogis' home turf in Omaha, Neb., rather than in Los Angeles. After playing most of the instruments himself on his previous releases, Yorn worked with a well-credentialed group of musicians that included drummer Joey Waronker (Beck), guitarist Jonny Polonsky, pianist and arranger Nate Wolcott (Bright Eyes, the Faint, Rilo Kiley), bassist Joe Karnes (John Cale) and backing vocalist Orenda Fink (Azure Ray).

"As much as it was what I wanted to do, it was definitely hard on me," Yorn said about working with a band for the first time. "I'm so used to doing it all myself, it's definitely a challenge for me to let go and let people bring their stuff to the table. But these were all musicians I definitely have a lot of respect for, and they played some things I don't think I would have thought of myself, so that was good."

Yorn said the songs themselves -- including the opening track and first single, "Don't Wanna Cry" -- came from "the darkest depths of the dark nights of the soul" he encountered while touring to support "Nightcrawler." "I'm not sure what all it was," said Yorn, who went through some therapy but no rehab to address his issues. "I just think I had been living my teenage rocked-out fantasy for a long time and I had some growing up to do...which led up to the fertile ground for writing this type of music for me."

While Mogis handled the day-to-day recording of "Back and Fourth," Rubin served in an oversight and advisory role that started with Yorn's first song demos. "He was really encouraging and made me feel good and gave me confidence to move forward and write more songs," Yorn said of Rubin. "He really was a big help."

Yorn plans to tour in support of "Back and Fourth." He's currently slated to perform on March 15 at the Cutler Majestic Center in Boston for radio station WERS' 60th anniversary concert. "Back and Forth" is due June 23 on Columbia.

The complete track listing for "Back and Fourth" is:

"Don't Wanna Cry"
"Paradise Cove"
"Social Development"
"Last Summer"
"Thinking of You"
"Four Years"
"Long Time"