Music Mondays: Rachael Yamagata

There’s something so beautifully haunting about Rachael’s voice as she begins the song, "Elephants.” Wandering through what appears to be post-apocalyptic ruins, the singer/songwriter laments on love and the inability to move on when she’s bombarded by constant reminders from the past, all while referencing elephants and tigers. The unique track was actually a part of Rachael’s 2008 release, aptly titled Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart.

Rachael�s story is just as unique as her music. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, so Rachael found herself dividing her time between her lawyer father�s place outside Washington, D.C. and her mom�s New York City apartment. She grew up listening to such diverse performers as Carole King, Roberta Flack and James Taylor. Rachael wasn�t initially interested in a singing career, though. Instead, she decided to study French at Northwestern University. After just one year, she headed to Vassar to become an Italian theater major. She would return to Chicago, however, where she became a fan of local funk/hip-hop band, Bumpus. Rachael had to earn her stripes with the band, starting out as a tambourine girl before eventually singing lead. For six years, she performed with Bumpus before deciding to embark on a solo career. Rachael�s debut EP came out in 2002 and a full-length album, Happenstance, dropped in 2004. Chesapeake, her most recent offering, was released last year. We�re incredibly impressed with Rachael�s willingness to strip down her vocals and produce unconventional tracks as well as more radio-friendly pop tunes. Hollywood has also taken notice, placing Rachael�s music in everything from The O.C. to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Watch the video for "Elephants"�� below before heading over to I AM THAT GIRL'��s YouTube channel. While you're there, don'��t forget to tune into our Music Mondays playlist, which is updated every week.

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