Acclaimed singer, songwriter, and musician Rachael Yamagata will release her fourth album, entitled Tightrope Walker, in September 2016 via Frankenfish Records/Thirty Tigers. With its themes of perseverance, relentless, and owning your own power, Tightrope Walker (Yamagata's first album since 2011's Chesapeake), represents an artistic rebirth both lyrically and sonically for the Woodstock, NY-based artist.
The album began when Yamagata had what she describes as a "mystical vision" at home in Woodstock. "I'm not religious, but I am spiritual and I love the signs," she says. "Did I ‘see' a sweat lodge where strangers experienced a cathartic healing after facing their own traumas? Yes I did. They weren't pains devoted solely to heartbreak in relationships, but also to the desperation of a youth getting pummeled by loss of a loved one, failure of a dream, betrayal by those you thought were your allies – human condition struggles. I started to write and ‘Tightrope Walker' was born. My musical identity started to shift and the sweetheart of tragedy transformed into grit and hope. My lyrics have become both vicious and optimistic and my musical identity has gone off the map. A 16 year-old indie rocker recently described it as ‘a new genre of music,' and that suits me just fine."
For her second independent release, Yamagata rounded up an illustrious array of guest performers, including such Grammy Award winners as Owen Biddle (The Roots), Matt Chamberlain, and Victor Indrizzo, as well as celebrated musicians Ben Perowsky (Rufus Wainwright), Zach Djanikian (Amos Lee), Kevin Salem (Dumptruck, Yo La Tengo), Russell Simins (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and others. Yamagata self-produced Tightrope Walker and brought her long-time producer, 3x-Grammy nominee John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band) onboard halfway through the process as co-producer.
It showcases her calling card ability to articulate humanity’s struggles within relationships and the freedom that comes from celebrating that which we face alone and head on. The production is riskier and cinematic – think Tom Waits meets Roberta Flack, Nick Cave hanging with Rufus Wainwright. Rachael confounds a labeled genre and instead embraces the production that serves the story. The paradox of her art mirrors that of her career and proves that we are never simplistic, but always full of surprises.