It all started with Happenstance, the name of Rachael Yamagata’s debut album from 2004. From the very first song “Be Be Your Love” you are completely transfixed on Yamagata’s ethereal intensity that’s romantic and lonely and mysterious. “You may hate me, but I’ll remember to love you,” she sings on the last track on the album called “Quiet.” Yamagata is good like that, though, luring listeners into her web of beautiful songs with her sultry, smoky voice, and making their hearts ache (whether she intends to or not).
Her second album Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart continues with her highly emotional sound, including an instrumental track of the song “Elephants” which is the first song on the record. But there is an indie-pop side to Yamagata’s music, too, which has brought her much commercial success, as many of her songs have been featured on prime-time TV shows. She’s also contributed vocals on songs by some amazing artists like Ray Lamontagne, Bright Eyes, and Ryan Adams.
Tightrope Walker is the name of her latest album release–an idea that came to her in a rather spiritual moment at her home up in Woodstock, NY. On this record you’ll hear a new layer to Yamagata–one that introduces different instruments to add a varied sense of texture to her songs, which you can hear on “Nobody” and “EZ Target.” But as adventurous as Rachel Yamagata’s sound becomes, no matter what it’s still quintessentially so her.