For Singer-Songwriter Yannon, Pandemic Isolation Provided Inspiration
Kara Yannon started writing songs young. She was just 8, she said, and wrote songs to tell stories or to deal with her emotions (she was an angsty kid). She joined choir in grade school and stuck with it throughout her music education studies at Webster University.
Now Yannon, 25, is debuting her first solo album, “Cohesion,” on Oct. 3. She considers it a classic 2021 album — one mostly created and refined during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020.
“I didn't do a lot of performing prior, so having this time to write and reflect and find my voice and these songs, it was actually really, really nice and comforting,” Yannon said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.
A track on the album inspired by her time of isolation is “North Pond.” Yannon wrote the song about Christopher Knight, who became known as the “North Pond Hermit” after living without human contact for 27 years.
In it she writes: “Nothing at all but the unvarnished truth/Time is a feeling, seasons, suns and moons/When the mushroom grew, he sat and stewed with the lady of the woods/She said, ‘Are you coming?’ And he understood.”
“[Knight] noted that he would just watch this mushroom grow as a form of entertainment ... And I just thought that was profound — just watching this singular mushroom. In a world where we're watching like 20 things at once, it was so nice to hear somebody focusing on one thing.”
Yannon wrote that song in a day. Her writing process isn’t always that fast, she said, but sometimes, a song just comes. Among her strategies is keeping a bag — yes, an actual bag, she confirmed — filled with phrases and snippets of unfinished works with chords and lyrics she can draw from.
Yannon calls it “stream of consciousness songwriting, where you just put something down and put the puzzle pieces together later.”
Her album release party is slated for Oct. 3 at Off Broadway, Yannon.
What: “Cohesion” album release party
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 3, 2021
Where: Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118)
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.