We first came across RACHAEL YAMAGATA and her gorgeous vocals on Levi Weaver’s work “Widow’s Song” and now the New Yorker returns with a new album “Tightrope Walker” due for commercial release in the UK on March 31st via Frankenfish/Thirty Tigers Records.
Tightrope Walker is the follow up to her 2011 release ‘Chesapeake‘ – and her fourth solo studio album. It will be supported by US and European tour [see dates below] with London shows on 14 and 15 April at the Omeara in Southwark.
The singer-songwriter has chosen to vary — thematically — her song-writing processes with this new album. The decision was prompted in part by Philippe Petit — the French high-wire artist famous for the tightrope walking between the two World Trade Centres in 1974. When asked why he did it, Petit simply replied “there is no why…”
This concept of an internal search to provide adequate reasons for any stated action resonated strongly with Yamagata and her approach to songwriting began to change as a result. As her collection of tracks began to emerge — her very own “Tightrope Walker” was born.
Yamagata’s creative processes, as well as her vision of life and art also changed during the conception of her album; She became a mother, a self-manager and a producer; she became driven by the idea of owning her own power — much like the influential figure, Petit.
This is an album that challenges style and genre as well as studying thematics.
“Tightrope Walker” has a lot of audible features, some more unusual than others: There are Saxophones, mandolins, rain recorded on an iPhone, French spoken word, metallic ironing boards and ladder drums, plus innumerable harmonies and loops, all indicating the change and development of Yamagata’s musical evolution. Magnificent songs such as “Let Me Be Your Girl” have sumptuous rayon and silk purr vocals — and are often ornamented with lustrous — almost ecclesiastical — crushed and dappled textures.
Signed copies of the album are still available from her store at: https://rachaelyamagata.com/store/