Yesway is the creation of best friends Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing.
Johansing, 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 Ritz 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 songwriting and soulful expression into a power duo.
Yesway, their debut full length album, has an updated release date of June 3.
Below, listen to the single "Howlin' Face," which the duo describe as "somewhere in the resonance of the vibes, those low flying synth clouds, river running guitar acoustics, and heart beat emulating electronica — all these conjure images and essence of the Northern California fog that inhabits and occupies the West Coast's sleepy shorelines."
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.
Watch the video for Yesway track, “Whaocean”:
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.
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.
Listen to more Yesway here.