Nashville is the spiritual home of the American singer-songwriter. It’s also the actual home of Conner Youngblood, the 28-year-old multi-instrumentalist and singer capturing the hearts of the world with his wistful, atmospheric new album Cheyenne. Released via Ninja Tune’s Counter Records imprint last Friday, it’s a record that manages to be lavish and stipped back all at once, studded with lolloping, often psychedelic folk anthems.
Like Cheyenne, Conner is both open and enigmatic, his voice a vulnerable falsetto that obscures just enough of his lyrics to have you leaning in, hooked to every word. Having spent all summer immersed in his music, Conner’s was a world we wanted to know more about so we hit him up for this week’s Internet Crush.
Do you remember your dreams? Tell us about a recent dream you’ve had.
I type them down sometimes. This is a legitimate excerpt from one recently saved on my computer –“I run into my dad at the now Police Station/Mall/Hospital/Airport 4 in 1, and he tells me about how badly Tommy Hilfiger wants me to fly down to “The Banana [Republic]” to model as a back-up on Saturday. I have a concert to go to in Atlanta though. I do not want to model at all. I keep trying to call officer Boyce and finally just walk into the station.”
Have you ever committed a crime (or done something illegal)? If so what did you do and were there consequences?
Yeah, I guess so. I was fishing a couple of years ago without a license if that counts. The game warden/river police came cruising down the river towards me and my friends… with actual sirens on their boat. So we ditched the poles and scrammed into the woods. They stole our poles and tackle box, but we got away ticket free.
What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Fell asleep while driving once and got into a very minor wreck on the highway. Basically drove off with a scratch on the side of the car…but could have been much, much worse. DO NOT drive while tired.
Describe your sound in three words…
Detailed, yet simple.
What’s your star sign?
I am an Aquarius I think, but not really sure what it all means. Neptune is my favourite planet though if that helps paint the picture.
When was the first time you had your heart broken?
Jeeez. Umm, I remember my first sorta-girlfriend-ish-acquaintance made out with some other dude while we were out together at a showing of Along Came Polly. She got up “to go to the bathroom”, decided to make out with one of my friends in the hallway, and came back like nothing happened. I found out about it later that night and just got over it. I think we lasted a couple more weeks.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Probably Avril Lavigne.
What would your biography be called?
“Yeah. Sure thing. Sounds good”
What was the first song you ever wrote?
One called “Drift”. Just me and my banjo. It is a low-key classic.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
As corny as it sounds, I’ve always been a very big fan of “just do it”. Plus, Shia LaBeouf really helped sell it.
How was high school?
Surprisingly, pretty great. I went to an all boys private school and actually had a blast. I’d say I got along with most of my class, liked most of my teachers, was never too stressed about any classes, loved playing sports, and luckily graduated. I got suspended in 9th grade for a week, but my parents were on my side, so it was basically a week vacation.
Is sex important to you? (why?)
Meh, I’m over it. Sure it can be fun sometimes, but usually, it just requires too much work and effort for something that I could care less about. I‘d rather stay at home and watch a movie.
What’s the biggest problem facing humans as a species?
Describe your own personal idea of hell…
Working at Honey Baked Ham during the holiday season was pretty shit.
What’s a lie you’ve told and what was the fallout?
Sometimes I lie about having heard a song that I truly hate. “Have you ever heard this cool new song?? …naw, I don’t think so” Unfortunately, it usually just results in people forcing me to listen to it.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Tough to choose just one. I really wish I could speak a few more languages. I wish I could play the bagpipes. I wish I were more flexible. I just think all three of these things would make me a better me.
What’s one thing we can all do to contribute to equality?
When was the last time you cried and why?
I was actually thinking about this the other day, and I honestly don’t even know. I think I got teary-eyed during Moonlight towards the end. But like a real cry… years and years ago. Maybe like 15-ish years ago after a friend died.
I wish I cried more.
Where/What will you be doing at the end of the world?
Hopefully in space, chilling.
Photography Trevor Paulhus
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