Having a ‘pizza body’ is one of those things that sounds amazing in an abstract sense—because you acquire it from eating a ton of pizza—but is infinitely less pleasant when the descriptor is applied to your bloaty, doughy body. It sounds good, but feels bad. Conner Youngblood, whose newest track, “Pizza Body,” we’re premiering below, is a song that both sounds good and feels good. Off his upcoming debut record Cheyenne (out August 17 via Counter Records), it’s clearly a song that’s embodied the spirit of the pizza body diet without being bogged down by the weight of dough and cheese and sauce and crust and all the toppings because I’m not paying for this pizza, baby.
Despite “Pizza Body” not actually being about having a pizza body, it’s still an excellent, awe-inspiring song. Says Youngblood, "I was particularly happy with the vocals in the chorus on this song. I just kept trying out a bunch of different voices and mixing it up until I found a cool one. Just kinda made up a new voice to do something fresh. Obviously the lyrics to the song are not 'oooh I wanna pizza body', but in hindsight I wish they were." Damn right you wish they were. Regardless, Youngblood’s aching falsetto more than makes up for the missed opportunity.
Cheyenne sounds like the Local Natives raised on Carrie & Lowell-era Sufjan Stevens, and “Pizza Body” is the perfect encapsulation of this aesthetic and spirit. Over a smooth, electro-laced toy drum kit, Youngblood delicately strums an acoustic guitar, slowly revealing a track built around his straight-from-the-heavens voice. “Pizza Body” enthralls because of the keen attention to detail Youngblood displays throughout, introducing a gut-wrenching pedal steel part and shifting the song towards a country-electro feel that’s way cooler than that description sounds. Although Youngblood’s chorus poses a question of identity and becoming somebody, my mind’s still on pizza because once pizza is mentioned a fortified wall grows around my brain and nothing is coming in or going out. I mean, it's pizza.
“Ooh, you wanna be somebody,” or, “Ooh, you want a pizza body?” It’s a deft tease, occuring with the vague awareness of a happy accident, but we all know the answer. As strings swell and a low-key, measured tambourine bring the track to its conclusion, our choice is presented one final time. A life well lived features both a pizza body and being somebody, but if Youngblood’s near-despondent delivery is any indication, having both is a near impossibility. In that case, extra cheese, please.
Cheyenne will be available on August 17. Pre-order it here.
Catch Conner Youngblood on tour this fall in Europe:
9/27 - Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
9/28 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
9/30 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Community Room
10/1 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
10/2 - Manchester, UK @ Now Wave Venue
10/3 - London, UK @ Oslo
10/8 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
10/9 - Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
10/10 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega Small Hall
10/12 - Oslo, Norway @ Cafe Mono
10/14 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Obaren
10/15 - Gothenberg, Sweden @ Oceanen
10/17 - Berlin, Germany @ Privatclub
10/18 - Poznan, Poland @ Spot
10/19 - Warsaw, Poland @ Bardzo Bardzo
10/20 - Wroclaw, Poland @ Akademia
10/22 - Vienna, Austria @ Rhiz
10/24 - Zurich, Switzerland @ Exil
10/25 - Nyon, Switzerland @ La Parenthèse
10/26 - Paris, France @ Le Pop Up du Label
10/27 - Brussels, Belgium @ Witloofbar
10/29 - Barcelona, Spain @ Sidecar