Kansas City Band Uses Faith And Fairy Dust To Tell Stories As Old As Time

Jul 22, 2016

Kianna Alarid and Jared White are the songwriters for the band Yes You Are. Alarid spent her early 20s as the front woman for  Tilly And The Wall, a band from Omaha, Nebraska that toured internationally. The band broke up after two of the members married and started having kids, so Alarid moved to Kansas City.

Here, her music took an about face from lo-fidelity indie to polished pop. She met White through Facebook while the two were separately toiling over songwriting; in 2013 they joined forces to form Yes You Are. 

Alarid and White spoke with Ghost Notes, a Kansas City-based podcast KCUR is collaborating with this summer, to talk about their songwriting method.

White: "You have to have some kind of faith."

KCUR recorded live performance videos this summer in collaboration with Ghost Notes, a podcast that interviews musicians about formative moments that drive their sound.
Credit Matt Sullivan

Alarid: "You can believe in something you can't see."

White: "You can drive to California on faith."

Alarid: "Right. California is there. We can't see it, but we get in the car and go there and then it appears....

"We have a vision, which is literally like a dream in our mind that isn't real yet. I love thinking about walking out in Madison Square Garden. That's faith.

"We [write] in a truly collaborative way. We call it dust. It’s like fairy dust almost, because fairies rhyme, so that’s what I would call these little poems. So we have dumps of compiled dust....

"And there’s another faith-based thing. In another way, we’re guided. And that’s weird. It’s like, what is this mystery? We’re just trying to tell a story as old as time really.”

Subscribe to Ghost Notes on iTunes to hear how Alarid changed her appearance from "hobo on acid" to "Chicana Sports Witch" to match Yes You Are's aspiring Top 40 pop-rock.

Hannah Copeland is the host of Ghost Notes and an announcer and reporter for KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @hannahecopeland.