Ken Yates with Jadea Kelly
Ontario-born indie-folk artist Ken Yates has a penchant for saying what the rest of us are thinking. Cerulean, his latest album, finds Yates at his darkest and most vulnerable — “the worst pain comes with no bleeding” he writes — as he explores the complicated reality of navigating the world through half-clenched teeth. Yates’ “earworms of sadness” have gained him a new legion of fans, who, drawn to his “stunning candidness and relatability” (No Depression), have shared numerous fan covers on social media and helped spur a dedicated surge of audience growth. The new album found great success at streaming, where songs were shared on playlists including “Your Favorite Coffeehouse,” “Infinite Indie-Folk”, “Fresh Folk,” and more. Guest vocalists Kathleen Edwards, Katie Pruitt and Stephanie Lambring lent their talents to the new songs, produced by Ottawa’s Jim Bryson. With praise in FLOOD, Atwood Magazine, NPR Music Live Sessions, and two Canadian Folk Music Awards under his belt, Yates has expanded his touring in recent years, supporting acclaimed artists including Passenger, Kathleen Edwards, and Stu Larsen, as he brings his “lyrical vessel of yearning and emotional reckoning” (FLOOD) on the road.