Acclaimed singer, songwriter, and musician Rachael Yamagata today released her highly anticipated fourth studio album Tightrope Walker via Frankenfish Records/Thirty Tigers. The album is available now digitally HERE and physically HERE.
With its themes of perseverance, relentlessness, 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. “When [French high-wire artist] Philippe Petit was asked why he walked the tightrope he responded, ‘Why – there is no why.’ This really f–d me up,” Yamagata says. I was devoting an entire theme of the tightrope walker to my new record: defending the weary spirit and empowering the underdog while using the high wire artist as a symbol of how to get through, but it hadn’t yet occurred to me to contemplate the why of getting through or the why of even my own art. Beyond that, why continue in an industry that I’d not yet conquered or pursue this when you have to give up so much to do so? Something propels our survival and search for happiness and it’s this desire to overcome what threatens to break us that continues to fascinate me. If you’re thinking of quitting – anything – this is your record,” she says.
For her second independent release, Yamagata launched a PledgeMusic campaign (ongoing since 2014) and became producer, den mother, and manager, turning her “hermit house in the woods” into a studio. In the process, she 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, three-time Grammy nominee John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band) onboard halfway through the process as co-producer.
Prior to the release of Tightrope Walker, Yamagata treated fans to an early listen of tracks “Nobody”, “Over”, and “Let Me Be Your Girl”. Yamagata co-directed and co-edited the video for the album’s first single “Nobody.” The video uses dance to symbolize the transformative power of breaking through as we harness the energy of our guides/ muse/ inner potential and go after our dreams. Watch it BELOW. Rolling Stone premiered the video for “Over” last month, praising the “upbeat and orchestrally ornamented” track. “Over” is an anthem about letting go and finally moving on, that showcases a newfound optimism, previously unexplored in her past work. Watch the video for the track BELOW. Next week, Yamagata will release a highly anticipated music video for “Let Me Be Your Girl” starring Allison Janney and directed by Josh Radnor.
Despite having the impressive resume of a major-label artist who turns independent, becomes a PledgeMusic legend, gets profiled in two Berklee College of Music marketing classes, performs for President Obama, earns praise from artists like Gregory Colbert and gurus like Deepak Chopra, and who has played Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden and shared stages with Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Pete Townshend, what defines Yamagata most is this: “I have fully stepped into my role as healer, optimist, entrepreneur, writer, producer, and spirited badass. And that is my ‘why,'” she says.
Earlier this month, Yamagata embarked on her Tightrope Walker North American Tour. Tickets for the tour are available now HERE.
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