.

Exclusive Listen: Rachael Yamagata Shifts Into Brighter Gear on 'Starlight'

'Before, I really gravitated to these darker songs and ballads'

August 1, 2011 1:35 PM ET
Rachael Yamagata starlight
Rachael Yamagata

Click to listen to Rachael Yamagata's 'Starlight'

On her first two albums, singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata proved she could write a piano ballad with the best of them. If you wanted atmospheric, moody and haunting Yamagata was right up there with the likes of Tori Amos and Fiona Apple on their most somber days.  "Before I really gravitated to these darker songs and ballads and a lot of self-introspection," she tells Rolling Stone.

Hew new album, produced by John Alagia (Mandy Moore, John Mayer, Yamagata's Happenstance) and due this fall, finds a more relaxed Yamagata. "I lightened up in a way that gives this record more tempo and there’s almost a positivity to some of these songs, which I’ve never been able to do," she says. "There’s still some darker ballads, but, on the whole, it’s a lighter record."

What was the secret to finally freeing herself up musically? Finding her independence. "It was really gratifying in that sense because I don’t have the pressures of a major label anymore," she says. "In a funny way I think this might be a more commercial record for me in terms of reaching a broader audience because there was no attempt or requirement to be anything but what we felt like doing in the room."

That's evident in "Starlight," a song that has a bit of a PJ Harvey edge. "'Starlight,' to me, feels like it should be in some European dance club," she says. "That song just evolved in the process of making the record. It came into something that is kind of sexy and cool. I’m stoked about it."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“I Was Made to Love Her”

Stevie Wonder | 1967

Stevie Wonder discovered true love while still a teenager, writing this ode to young love when he was only 17. The song, Wonder explained, "kind of speaks of my first love, to a girl named Angie, who was a very beautiful woman. She's married now. Actually, she was my third girlfriend but my first love. I used to call Angie up and we would talk and say, 'I love you, I love you,' and we'd talk and we'd both go to sleep on the phone.” The Beach Boys, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men have all recorded versions of "I Was Made to Love Her."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com