Musically, Break Up is more lovelorn Americana than pouty French pop. Is it meant to be pure homage?
PY: This record is like two innocent kids compared to that classic, sexy French shit. Never in my dreams would I want to suggest that we could pull off that level of sensuality.
SJ: Pete has so uniquely captured that sixties-French-pop period without it being retro. When you listen to music that’s “inspired” by a certain era, more than hearing the inspiration you hear a bad impression. This album is more of a valentine to that period than an imitation.
You made Break Up nearly three years ago; why wait so long to release it?
PY: I went on tour. She did movies. Every once in a while Scarlett would late-night text me: “We’re listening to the record, we love it!” So I’d kind of check it out too and be like, “Yeah it does sound pretty fun.” After living with it for a while, I really love the album. It’s the sound of this one moment in time.
SJ: Absolutely. Both of us were in a transient place. I’ve been working since I was 8 years old, and whenever I have periods of time when I don’t have to be doing anything, where I don’t have any responsibility, it’s in those moments that I live my life. I felt, as the word transient would suggest, in between two places. In between a beginning and an end. And I think Pete also had that feeling of being in between, of being everywhere and nowhere at once.
Any chance fans will be able to hear the songs live?
SJ: I’ve never been one to hawk something. If people demand it, maybe we’ll do a couple of shows in Europe and a couple of shows here. I have terrible stage fright, so it would be a challenge for me, but I’ve got to face that eventually. The album sounds nice out loud.
Did making the album cure your insomnia, Pete?
PY: No. That took a couple of years. Every day in the studio was hard for me—I was in an acute anxiety state. But I surrounded myself with really good people, and there was a power between us that I guess was just bigger than whatever my anxiety was. The odd thing is that when I listen to the album now, it sounds like some of my happiest music ever. When “Relator” comes on, it puts a smile on my face every time—it sounds so fun.