Just Announced: Rachael Yamagata will play Union Transfer on 7/11

20081005_rachael_yamagata_33Singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata brings her Heavyweight EP tour to Philadelphia on July 11th for a show at Union Transfer.  The Virginia native has been working non-stop for the last year and a half, quickly following up her 2011 full-length Chesapeake with the recent EP.  Last time she was in town, Yamagata stopped by WXPN for a Free at Noon performance – listen back to the show here and check out an interview she did with The Key here.  Tickets for the Union Transfer show go on sale this Friday, April 5th, at noon; more information can be found here.  Below, watch a recording of Rachael Yamagata performing a pair of songs from Heavyweight. 


Listen to Rachael Yamagata’s Free at Noon performance

Last week, singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata joined us for a Free at Noon Concert at WXPN, playing a selection of songs from her new Heavyweight EP as well as her back-catalogue. She mixed moving, emotional songs with lively banter, and welcomed Philadelphia musician Adrien Reju onstage for the latter part of the set. Check out a photo recap of the concert in the gallery above, see the setlist below, and listen to Rachael’s performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player). This week’s Free at Noon features a performance by Tracy Grammar upstairs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia; RSVP to the show here. Continue reading →


Interview: Rachael Yamagata on community, Rocky, and why once this tour is over, she could really use a nap

For nearly a decade now, Rachael Yamagata has seduced and charmed audiences with her gorgeous vocals and rare ability to encapsulate love and heartbreak in a 4-minute pop song.  Her exceptional voice and songwriting have won the hearts of everyone from Rhett Miller to Ryan Adams (both of whom she’s collaborated with), not to mention thousands of fans worldwide.

In 2011, she formed her own record label, Frankenfish, and released her third studio album, Chesapeake, to critical acclaim. Now, just one year later, she’s already released a new EP, Heavyweight, and is hitting the road to support it. I rang up Yamagata in advance of her Friday “Free at Noon” performance—to talk community, Rocky, and why once this tour is over, she could really use a nap.

The Key:  The new EP is called Heavyweight, and “Heavyweight” is also the name of the first song. Tell me about the idea behind it. Is the song about someone in particular? What does it mean to be a heavyweight?

Rachael Yamagata: It’s actually very silly, the idea behind it—I was in this serious relationship at the time where [my boyfriend and I] were constantly battling…and actually I had read somewhere that our two different personality types combined was like two boxers constantly trying to knock each other out [laughs]. I’m also a big fan of Rocky; I used to run on the Ben Franklin Bridge constantly and listen to the Rocky soundtrack, and so I kept thinking about Rocky, and the idea of this person existing solely on braggadocio, and approaching the world with this blustery strength and suppressing vulnerability…and just the kind of burden they hold as a result. It’s such a tenuous position, because once you’ve become a heavyweight champion….you know. What happens if you lose the fight? There’s always that vulnerability creeping in. And so in this song, and also in this relationship, there’s the idea that I’ll stand next to you no matter what, even though I know this about you. Continue reading →


Livestream Rachael Yamagata’s show from Joe’s Pub tonight; see her at FAN and the First Unitatian Church this Friday

Rachael Yamagata is playing XPN’s Free At Noon this Friday, December 7th. On Friday evening, she performs an intimate show at the First Unitarian Church, that you can buy tickets for here. Yamagata is touring in support of a gorgeous new EP, Heavyweight that you can purchase here. Tonight, Rachael is playing two sold out shows in New York at Joe’s Pub. Starting at 9:30 p.m. EST, you can watch the show in full on Livestream here. Sign up to see Rachael at XPN’s Free At Noon this Friday here. In case you missed our featured My Morning Download, download “Falling In Love Again” here.


My Morning Download: “Falling In Love Again” by Rachael Yamagata

Singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata is out on tour and is playing the First Unitarian Church on Friday, December 7th. She’s got a gorgeous new six song EP out called Heavyweight that she’s selling at her shows and on her web site here. There are few confessional singer-songwriters who are as good as Yamagata at capturing the essence of broken hearts and finding redemption in lost love. Her singing on this record is as emotionally intense as ever, the piano playing as lyrical as her story telling and the string arrangements on the EP are stunning. The EP is out on her own Frankenfish Records, and she gets some help from Liz Phair and Madi Diaz on the song “Has It Happened Yet.” Rachael’s made yet another excellent collection of songs and in the context of the singer-songwriter continuum Heavyweight</em> is about as blue as Joni Mitchell’s Blue can get. Below, download “Falling In Love Again.”


The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Gracie, Rachael Yamagata and Zilla Rocca

Electronic-pop outift Gracie lent some songs to our Key Studio Sessions series this week.  Andrew Balasia, the man behind the moniker, stopped by the studio on his way to a show at Johnny Brenda’s and recorded three tracks off of his upcoming Bleeder LP.  Download the Key Sessions rendition of “Creature Pleaser” (the album’s first single) below and check out the full session here.  Gracie has hinted that he will be back for a show in Philly before the month is finished, so stay tuned for more information on that and the release of Bleeder.

Continue reading →


Download a free mixtape from Rachael Yamagata (playing the First Unitarian Sanctuary on 12/7)

Heartrending, nomadic singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata is touring chamber-style this fall – with promises of intimate venues, string sections, and wine. For her local show, the onetime Philly resident will play in the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church on December 7 (more information here). This week Yamagata released a free mixtape through in anticipation of the tour; listen to it, or download it in exchange for your email address, in the player below. Continue reading →