One music critic recently referred to Yamagata’s debut as the “best Fiona Apple album Fiona hasn’t released.” Although comparisons of Rachael to Fiona are inevitable, there are also touches of Carole King, whispery flourishes of Norah Jones and the atmospheric charm of Beth Orton. Mostly however, the songs on Happenstance represent an artist with her own unique style and vision.
In the mid-90’s Rachael was studying theatre and piano and landed at Northwestern University. She became a member of Bumpus, a funk band that became a mainstay of the local Chicago music scene. She signed a solo deal in 2002 and Happenstance is the result of two years of touring and recording. Songs like “Worn Me Down,” “Be Be My Love,” “Meet Me By The Water” (complete with a musical nod to Rod Stewart), and the undeniable “Letter Read,” are an outstanding handful of the 14 songs on this marvelous debut.
Written by Bruce Warren
Release Date: 6/8/2004
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