Yesway, the debut full length album from San Francisco artists Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing, sees its release this week on vinyl, cd, and digital.
While their brand of electrified, pastoral folk has seen comparisons to the likes of Paw Tracks records and Coco Rosie, their juxtaposition of subtle electronics with focused acoustic guitars have painted a unique picture that is entirely their own.
The vibe of the duo is captured quite well in the video for "Howlin' Face," which features art direction and costumes in line with the sounds heard throughout the album.
Following a week in New York that included three shows and a live performance on WFMU, Yesway will be returning to the west coast this month for a string of dates that includes a date opening for Laura Veirs on June 21 in Portland.
Watch the video for “Howlin’ Face” below:
Kacey and Emily formed Yesway out of the strong bonds of friendship. They first crossed paths in the San Francisco music scene in 2006, becoming close friends and admirers of each others music from the start. After years of pursuing separate projects they decided to go on tour together in Europe representing both of their bands, co-headlining and backing each other up. Their shows and experiences in Norway, especially, ignited the creative flame in both of them along with a feeling that this was something they had to further pursue together. In fact, the name "Yesway" is itself a variation on the very country that really sparked their collaboration.
Kacey, in addition to a budding solo career following the release of her Grand Ghosts LP last year, has lent her talents to projects such as Geographer, while Emily is an active member of the band DRMS. Four years ago, the two began playing music together in the experimental folk ensemble Honeycomb, which initiated their path toward growing and weaving their creative song writing and soulful expression into a power duo.
In a live setting, their voices literally melt together and their performances are intimate yet expansive. They are often backed by Vibraphone player Andrew Maguire, who also plays with Will Sprott and Thao and Mirah. Although their instrumentation is centered around vocal harmonies and two guitars, "folk" seems like a inaccurate description as many of their songs are in odd time signatures and do not follow a traditional song form. The results are songs that are truly celestial, shapeshifting across different moods that match their creative styles. See below for the full list of upcoming dates.
Upcoming Yesway Live Dates:
June 21 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR (w/ Laura Veirs)
June 22 – Attelier Coffee Company, Ltd. – Seattle, WA
June 25 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA
June 27 – Henry Miller Memorial Library – Big Sur, CA
June 29 – Ojai Rancho Inn – Ojai, CA
Find out more here.