I’ve really been loving the most recent Rachael Yamagata double album, Elephants… Sinking Teeth into Heart. I was a huge fan of Happenstance, and her voices conveys heartache so beautifully. When I first listened to parts of Elephants, I wasn’t too ecstatic, because I yearned for her piano-accompanied songs from Happenstance. But I still decided to go see her in the Hotel Cafe Tour.
She started off her set with the most amazing un-cued acapella rendition of Elephants. It was so strikingly beautiful that I wish I could relive that moment repeatedly. (This also happened to be the first night of the tour, and the second time she came out she was really drunk, and did a rather piece-y “Reasons Why.” It was very cute.) I got over my preferences for her piano playing and have learned to like the more guitar-based Elephants.
I love what she has written on her website, “My mother said recently that Happenstance is the beauty of your ’20s, this one is the richness of your ’30s – of someone who’s been through the mill and is trying to make the choice between optimism and defeatism.”
Be sure to listen to her song Duet with Ray LeMontagne. He is the perfect contrast – a male version of her voice.