My Record Collection - January 3, 2017

My Record Collection by Rachael Yamagata
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

My Record Collection by Rachael Yamagata

In My Record Collection, we dig down to the bottom of musicians' souls to find out what the most treasured parts of their record collection are. This week, it's the turn of sophisticated singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata, let's see what she has in store for us...

 

Check out a selection of Rachael's picks in this playlist...

 

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

"It was Huey Lewis and The News' Sports. I think it was that or Aerosmith? Let’s go with Huey – that was the first concert tickets I ever bought too. The songs felt fun and I loved the sense of humour they brought to their videos. Each song is laden with hooks and energy and ‘I Want a New Drug’ was my favourite. Mind you I had a big crush on Michael J. Fox around that time so it may have had something to do with their song in ‘Back To The Future’ as well. Whatever it was, hearing that record now still makes me smile."

 

The record that made me want to be in a band was…

"Actually, seeing a band made me want to be in a band. Rufus Wainwright’s Poses had a big impact on me and definitely inspired me as a recording artist. I remember seeing Rufus on a TV special – he wasn’t featured, just popped up for a few quick lines on a song, but I was immediately drawn in and had to find out who he was. I went to a record store, bought ‘Poses’ and literally pulled the car over to the side of the road as soon as ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’ started playing. I’d never heard something so lush with such unexpected chord changes and his harmonies – heaven. I’ve been following him and Martha Wainwright ever since. I’ve gotten to meet them both over the years and I have to try very hard to not be super fan girl."

 

The record I've played more than any other is…

"Jeff Buckley's Grace. It is one of the most haunting, delicate and yet passionate records I’ve ever heard. His voice floats. There’s nothing traditional about the way he wrote. Each song went fluidly from section to section and yet not in any way that lays out a normal verse chorus verse chorus bridge layout. I loved that. The production, his melodies and delivery take you on a journey and it’s fist pumping and head banging worthy. Then he turns around breaks your heart. ‘Lilac Wine’ is probably my favourite. Honest passion – the whole record feels undeniably authentic."

 

The record that always make me feel good is…

"Joni Mitchell's Blue. For a long time I thought of Joni as having huge production in her songs and then realized it was often just one instrument and her voice filling everything. Nothing can compare to her melodies – she spans a vocal range that is hard to comprehend and I’ve never heard a better storyteller. Her words are art, poetry, visual perfect choices."

 

The record I turn to when I'm feeling down is…

"Keren Ann's La Biographie de Luka Philipse. A friend first took me to see Keren Ann perform at Joe’s Pub in NYC. She oozes elegance and mystery and I was hooked. She’s a producer as well and was mixing organic instruments with loops and electronics and strange touches long before it was familiar to do so. This record is in French and honestly it’s for a rainy night or morning sunrise. Obsessed."

 

The record I think is the most underrated of all time is…

"I love Elizabeth & The Catapult's The Other Side of Zero. The first time I heard her song ‘Time (We All Fall Down) I had a reaction of ‘who the heck is THIS?’ The entire record is strong, rhythmic and has these great sections and unbelievable textures and sounds. It’s rich and she’s a vocal ace. ‘Thank You For Nothing’ slays. We’re planning a collaboration together I’m so obsessed."

 

The record with my favourite cover art is…

"Roberta Flack's First Take. It reads absolutely classic to me and perfectly captures the mood of the record. You feel like you are in a jazz club at 4 in the morning witnessing something spiritual, a secret really. There’s nothing fussy about the music or the artwork – it’s eight songs of pure real genius. I love the color composition of the cover as well – those red orange lantern lights picking up the Atlantic icon. The earth tones of the picture matched with this mystical lavender in the lights and her dress…"

 

The record with my favourite title is…

"This is The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. It’s hard to not speak about this record’s absolute magic and just talk about the title, but the title has a really interesting story. I just looked it up on Wikipedia in fact because this question got me curious about the backstory. Definitely read up on it – it makes me newly appreciate my own story of almost naming a record ‘Frankenfish’ and instead choosing ‘Chesapeake’ on a street corner in NYC right before mastering was finished and we had to choose something. I always just liked how ‘Pet Sounds’ sounded and was so quirky."

 

The record I can't understand why everybody loves is…

"Don’t have an answer for this one. I wish I did, but music is so subjective. If someone puts something out from their heart and gives it their best authentic shot, it’s hard for me to question its relevance. I might not love something, but I know the work and strain, highs and lows that go into just making a record so I’ll just leave it at someone out there loves it…"

 

The last record I bought was…

"Emily King's The Switch.  She’s a goddess - soulful and joyous. I can’t dance and this record makes me want to dance every time. You can’t not move to it – it’s infectious, swanky and makes you feel like the star of your own spy movie or something. Turn the lights low and play ‘Sleepwalker’."

 

The record I'm most looking forward to hearing in 2017 is…

"I’ll say any next record by Paul Simon. For now, I’ll just play ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ on repeat."

 

The greatest record of all time is…

"Carole King's Tapestry is one that certainly stands the test of time for me. Every song just…resonates. For me, it was extremely influential and inspiring for lyric writing and storytelling. Her honesty in delivery and playing frames the heart of the matter of each song. There is no excess. It’s emotionally rich and sonically streamlined to the most important guts of the matter and I love that."

 

Rachael Yamagata's new album Tightrope Walker is out now and available here in hmv's online store. 

Tightrope Walker
Tightrope Walker Rachael Yamagata

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