Described by The Bay Bridged as “gorgeous acoustic pop”, San Francisco based musician Kacey Johansing creates songs with meandering melodies, lush harmonies and moody aural landscapes. Weaving together elements of folk, jazz, pop and classical music, it sounds as if she spent years studying in old smoky theaters with icons Leonard Bernstein and Joni Mitchell directing the show, and The Beach Boys in the orchestra pit. A soulful, honeyed voice and lilting vibrato land her the leading role.
Collaboration has proven to be a fundamental part of Johansing’s creative process. She has been a member of San Francisco groups Geographer and Honeycomb, and is a current member of the experimental folk duo Yesway. Johansing has shared the stage and contributed to projects with local talents Tune-Yards, Sean Hayes, Mirah and Thao Nguyen and has collaborated with French filmmaker Vincent Moon.
Johansing’s latest release and sophomore LP, Grand Ghosts, evokes the wilderness of the California coastline that she now calls home and the isolated mountain towns in Colorado where she grew up. Sonically and thematically darker than her debut album Many Seasons (2010), Grand Ghosts grapples with loss, paying homage to loved ones who passed during the making of the record. While Many Seasons reads more like a playbill, featuring a rotating cast of skilled friends and local musicians, Grand Ghosts was intended to capture the chemistry shared by the more permanent cast consisting of Johansing (electric guitar, piano, organ, vocals), Jeremy Harris (guitar, piano, vocals, and string arrangements), Robert Shelton (keyboards), James Riotto (bass), Ezra Lipp (drums), and Andrew Maguire (vibraphone, percussion).