Rachael Yamagata: “Even If I Don’t”
You may not recognize her name, but you’ve heard singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata’s music. Her songs have been used in TV shows and films like “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The O.C.” and more. She’s also lent her outstanding voice to albums by artists like Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst and Ray LaMontagne, just to name a few. “I feel like I just hit the lottery in terms of the people I’ve gotten to work with,” says Yamagata in a recent visit to the KUT studio.
Yamagata began her musical career with the Chicago funk band Bumpus. By the early 00s, Yamagata embarked on her own solo career, releasing a self-titled EP in 2002. Her 2004 full-length debut Happenstance was produced by John Alagia, who had helmed records by John Mayer and the Dave Matthews Band. Happenstance earned Yamagata acclaim and an expanding audience. In 2008 she made a gutsy move when she released her sophomore effort Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart as a big double album. From tender pop to dark, brooding rock, the double-record showed off Yamagata’s wide talent. For her latest record, Chesapeake, Yamagata once again teamed up with Alagia. Yamagata tapped a big circle of talented musician friends to record the album with her at Alagia’s home on Chesapeake Bay.
Yamagata and her band recorded a live version of Chesapeake’s lead track “Even If I Don’t” on a recent stop to the KUT studio, and it’s today’s song of the day. More moody and ethereal than the propulsive album version, Yamagata’s performance here at KUT proves once again that she’s a songwriter of immense talent.