Rachael Yamagata is a singer-songwriter whose versatility makes her music hard to pigeonhole. Sometimes she is a crooner who projects a jazzy kind of cool. Other times she gets into the pop/rock territory with an off kilter, Fiona Apple type flair or PJ Harvey type power. Then she plays blues with a swagger, or turns to subtle piano ballads that emotionally linger. Whichever direction she takes though, she comes to it with the songwriting skills that make it work. She sings in a mature, smokey voice that can navigate the stylistic variety. There is a bit of weight of the world feel to her songs and her delivery has a "grown up" quality that brings to mind artists like Tom Waits, Joe Henry, or Roberta Flack, not necessarily in terms of style, but in her tone.
Fiona Apple, Joe Henry, Regina Spektor, Missy Higgins