Steven Fiore’s career reads like a legendary round of two truths and a lie: co-writing with Art Garfunkel, a stint with Jeff Goldblum’s jazz band, more than 17 million Spotify streams. But it’s all true – every word of it. In a way, you could say it’s this unfiltered honesty that ultimately powers Fiore’s YOUNG MISTER to be more than just pretty melodies, but rather profoundly moving pieces of musical storytelling.
Hailed by American Songwriter and Consequence of Sound alike for an adroit balance of folk, Americana, and pop – all unwritten with wistful sentimentality – Young Mister began in 201X after Fiore, a successful songwriter for Universal Music Publishing Group for more than a half-decade in Los Angeles, once again began putting himself first as a writer. “I’d been writing a lot under my name, but for other people,” Fiore says, referencing cuts for acts like Howie Day and Natasha Bedingfield. “I needed to do something different.”
Young Mister’s 2016’s self-titled debut LP bore hits like “Everything Has Its Place” and “Anybody Out There,” swirling meditative lyricism together with dreamlike soundscapes that carried Fiore onto stages across the country over the course of more than 160 shows. 2019’s Sudden Swoon and 2020’s This Is Where We Are Now expanded that sound outward and, in the case of the latter, found the singer-songwriter ruminating on the chaotic, fractured state of the world at large while tackling thorny issues like religion and racial injustice, the COVID pandemic and omnipresent political partisanship.
But while Fiore might have declared “The old days are gone/They were never golden to begin with” on This Is Where We Are Now’s title track, on his brand-new single, “Still Young,” he’s fired up the DeLorean to recapture both those younger years and a timeless musical era. “Everything I write is pretty dad rock,” he says with a laugh. “This song was an opportunity to break some comfort zones and try something new out.” That meant digging back through his record collection at the behest of producer Izaac Burkhart (Dan + Shay) for “songs that make you feel like your chest is caving in.” He found that muse in ’80s rock and power pop, in Gabriel, Springsteen and Starship – rose-colored fist-pumpers that soundtracked some of the most beloved summer movies of all time.
Like the songs that inspired it, “Still Young” is equally cinematic, spinning a narrative arc of unlikely romance culminating with a head-over-heels leap into the unknown. At its core, it’s a song about how life opens up when you have the courage to chase it – and a tribute to his wife, with whom he shares a retail space in downtown Tryon, North Carolina (pop. 1,500).
With his wife’s vintage clothing shop in the front and a studio-slash-skate-shop in the back, Fiore’s current setup is a far cry from the life he lived as a younger writer in L.A. But at this point, there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. “I’ve definitely had a lot of wild, random experiences,” he says. “It’s nice to feel normal for a bit.”