I haven’t really written much about Rachael Yamagata, and what I have written tends to stick strictly to reviews of her music and previews of her performances. I’ve had lots of people ask me to write more about her, but I think that when a friend becomes famous you tend to grow overprotective of them. Considering Rach was like the little sister I never had, I’d say that was certainly the case in this instance.
However her name has been popping up more and more lately, so I’ve been thinking about her more. My little brother pointed out that she did an interview with Mandy Moore recently — which really is a good read since it dispenses with the usual back-and-forth in favor of a more revealing look at how Moore actually operates — and I keep hearing murmurings that her new album is coming out in the near future, though I’ve been hearing that for over 6 months now, so who knows.
I don’t really get to talk to Rach that much anymore. Aside from a couple of “catch-up” emails a year we don’t really get to talk, which is too bad, but that sort of thing happens even with friends who still live in town, a couple blocks away from me. It’s just sort of the natural progression of things. There was a period of time where all we would do is have hours-long conversations late into the night, and now I think our last spoken conversation was at my birthday party last year. Or was that the year before? Time flies.
Anyway, I dug out some old demos of hers that never saw the light of day. One batch is a bunch of recordings she did with Chris Holmes, some of which showed up in her later released stuff in a slightly less gritty form. I can’t really post them or share them, since they were given me by the artists involved and I don’t think they were ever meant to see the light of day. What I can share, however, is a track off her first demo, since that got passed around, and at one point Rach was giving them away at her solo shows, so I think it’s safe to share it.
The track, “Super,” was in regular rotation in Rach’s early sets. I didn’t give Rach her first solo show, but i do think I gave her the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th solo shows! It was fun to watch her go from playing to an audience of 9, including me and two of her bandmates from Bumpus, to playing sold out shows. Due to timing constraints I haven’t seen her the last few times she came through town, and I admit it might be a little weird to see her playing the Metro to a sold-out crowd of Rachael Yamagata fans, but I’m sure she’s still terrific on-stage.
Anyway, “Super” is a little poppier than some of the stuff she’s now better known for, and I think it was maybe one of her attempts to write a “guitar rock” type of song. It’s a little simple, but in this case I think “simple” is perfect for the song.