Late Bloomer

Album: The Voyager (2014)
Play Video


  • Jenny Lewis worked on this coming-of-age tune for several years, gradually developing the story of meeting a fellow music lover called Nancy in Europe. She told Paste magazine the core of the song was based on her own experiences: "When I was a teenager, I went to Europe on a backpacking trip by myself, and I met a woman who was following Sebadoh," Lewis said. "It was the early 1990s, and that was my introduction to indie rock."
  • Lewis recalled that after she played the song to The Voyager producer Ryan Adams, his reaction was frustration. "It agitated him," said Lewis. "He didn't know what to do with it because he thought it was so confessional. It's not confessional, Ryan!"

    Adams sent her to work on the tune with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench. "Benmont f--king Tench! That made me so nervous," said Lewis. "But he looked at me and said, 'I know exactly what to do with it.'"
  • In the song's final verse, Lewis and Nancy hook up with their hero, singer-instrumentalist Lou Barlow of Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr. Barlow actually sings on the track. "I sent the song to him and told him the story behind it," Lewis recalled. "I was totally surprised that he actually came into the studio, because it was a bit stalker-y on my part. It was the most meta thing I've ever done."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.


PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song Spoofs

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.