Rachael Yamagata

Rachael Yamagata seems simultaneously cautious and confident. She’s a singer-songwriter who moves fluidly between tones and demeanors as if she’s made up her mind not to make up her mind. Her voice is loose, throaty, easy and graceful. Her debut full-length, Happenstance, makes heartbreak seem both tragically and desirably righteous. At times reminiscent of Fiona Apple’s raw style, Yamagata — who was raised on James Taylor and Carole King but began her career with the Chicago funk band Bumpus — brings folk and funk to her singer-songwriter roots.

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