Singer-songwriter Kacey Johansing cut her musical teeth in the San Francisco scene. The Bay Area artist started out collaborating with Thao & Mirah and Tune-Yards; has been a member of Geographer; and played in the experimental folk band Yesway. For the last 13 years, though, she has been releasing her own solo efforts.
Kacey has released a new song in advance of her fifth album entitled Year Away. “Daffodils” was written for a friend who was approaching the end of her life. The friend was preparing for death with grace and curiosity and welcomed Johansing and other friends to her home to say goodbye. Daffodils were blooming all around her home and a bouquet of wilting flowers was placed on her kitchen table where she and Johansing last spoke.
“The day before she passed,” Johansing recalls, “I sat down and wrote ‘Daffodils’ in one sitting. I was able to send it to her and had a friend play it for her at her bedside. The song was my parting gift to her, and in return the song gifted me with a new understanding of grief, and became the starting point for writing the entirety of Year Away.”
Year Away will be released on July 28 on the Night Bloom label Kacey founded with Alex Bleeker of Real Estate, and was recorded with her partner and co-producer Tim Ramsey. Tyler Karmen handled engineering duties. This is the same duo responsible for Kacey’s highly regarded album No Better Time (2020).
As for “Daffodils,” it is loaded with a sense of fond memories, sadness and grief over what will be lost and what will be missed, and yet joy for what was shared. We look forward to what the rest of the album has to offer.