Indie singer hits home with another honest and emotional aural experience
By Grace Yeoh, Photo credits to Joanna Kwa
It is unlikely that any musician is able to destroy you and put you back together again in the span of two hours. And then you meet Rachael Yamagata. Back in Singapore for the fifth time, the Japanese-American songstress belted out soulful hits at the Esplanade Concert Hall on March 2, 2013, together with a couple from her newest EP, “Heavyweight”.
It was a night to remember as the singer-songwriter took the audience on an emotional roller-coaster, from crowd favourites, like “Elephants” and “Be Be Your Love”, to happier hits (“Saturday Morning”) and heavier ones (“Sunday Afternoon” and “It’ll Do”), before ending the night with a soothing “I Wish You Love”. Fans of Yamagata are bounded by a common thread of heartache, and she did not disappoint.
Yet, Yamagata’s candid rambles are what keep fans returning year after year. Referring to intense heartbreaker “You Won’t Let Me”, she quipped that the guy she wrote it about was probably currently engaged, before carrying out her trademark self-deprecating dig at her penchant for unrequited love – “We’re all in it together”.
Plus, what’s a Yamagata gig without pleasant surprises? In a seemingly spontaneous act, she spoke about an email a fan sent her months before, then requested for the fan to join her on stage for a duet of “Reason Why”. When you witness magic happen, there are no better responses than to simply sit back and enjoy the aural feast.
It’s easy to see why the sultry singer returns year after year to fast-selling gigs. If there is anything to be said about the way her dark but relatable lyrics break your heart in the most perfect places, it is that Yamagata knows just how to be honest with her feelings, so that we may be honest with ours.