"I took my most honest, vulnerable stories and turned them into songs, which are set to a breezy California 70’s musical tone." We chat with Rachel Reinert
Hey Rachel, how’s your day going?
I’m hanging in there!
So, where are you right now?
At home in Nashville, TN.
Kinda obvious question now… how’s COVID-19 made a difference to what you’d usually be doing right now?
I would’ve been promoting my album and playing shows/touring, so I’m really limited in how I can be performing and getting the word out about this album. It’s also affected my ability to write. Most sessions have gone to Zoom, but it’s difficult trying to write that way. I just really miss feeding off of the energy of people in the room.
Can you introduce yourself to our lovely readers?
I’m Rachel Reinert, I’m a singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. You may (or may not) remember me from the country group Gloriana, which I was in from 2007-2015. I’m solo now and just released my debut album, Into The Blue on March 13th.
Tell us a bit about you, what do you do for fun?
I love hanging out with my husband, cooking, playing board games, and getting invested in a tv series - I’m really just a homebody at heart. But I also love being out on the water - I grew up in Southern California, so any chance I get to be on a boat or swimming, I’ll take it.
As you mentioned just before the world went crazy you released a new album, Into The Blue, what can you tell me about the album in two sentences?
It’s essentially my autobiography. I took my most honest/vulnerable stories and turned them into songs, which are set to a breezy California 70’s musical tone.
What’s the story behind one of my favourite songs, ‘Dark Star’?
Thank you! That song was written about my departure from Gloriana. I was really afraid that maybe I’d already had my shot in the music industry with the band and that would be it for me...But I was restless about that notion because I desired so much more for myself and I knew I still had this light within me that people just had not seen yet. So it’s really about me fighting for my spot as a solo artist.
'Some Kind Of Angel’ is a really beautiful sounding song, tell me how it came about.
It was the first love song I had ever written that didn’t turn out cheesy or lame...I wrote it about my husband, who was just my boyfriend at the time. I guess I just needed to be with the right person to be able to write a proper love song.
If I only had three minutes, what song should I listen to from your album?
'Who I Am Right Now'. It covers the main theme of this album which is my belief that everything happens for a reason and shapes you into who you’re meant to be.
What’s the key to writing a damn good song?
Probably the never-ending quest to write a damn good song! I’m always striving to be a better writer and learn more. I don’t know if I’m ever really satisfied, so that hunger keeps me driven.
You’ve probably spoken enough about being in Gloriana, but I wanted to ask has anything surprised you about the difference between being a solo artist and being part of a band?
The biggest difference is just getting to do what I want and not having to be confined to certain limitations. That’s just how it is when you’re in a group where you’re all equals - compromise is inevitable.
I usually ask, what have you got planned for the rest of 2020, but I’m not sure any of us know… so, what’s the thing you’re looking forward to doing most when things settle down?
I just really look forward to being around people again! Whether that is performing on stage, or just going out to a restaurant/bar. I also miss going to the gym. Working out keeps me sane.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I just think sometimes the opportunities are not the same, especially as a new female artist. Some industry people are probably not as willing to listen to the music or invest in a project just because of how difficult it has historically been to break through all of the stigmas around female country artists. There have definitely been moments where I’ve wondered if my path would’ve been drastically different if I were a male artist.
Have you noticed a difference at all in the last couple of years?
I do think it’s getting better. It’s encouraging to see these new female artists getting number 1’s on their debut singles at country radio, and seeing more balance overall on the charts. My main thing has always been that I never wanted for young girls to dream of being a country artist like I did, and believing that it was impossible to break through so they just give up on their dreams. It’s really heartening to see women finally being given that chance to shine because the music is strong and deserves to be heard.
Can you give us a taste of the kind of music you listen to in your spare time?
I listen to everything. My husband and I are vinyl collectors, so a lot of what we own is older music, mostly ranging from 70’s classic rock and country, to 90’s alternative. Right now we’re spinning the Foo Fighters debut album - one of my favorites. As far as what’s new that I’m loving/listening to, I’m a huge fan of Harry Styles and Post Malone. I’m a sucker for modern pop music.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
The new Lennon Stella album is wonderful top to bottom.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
With a healthy splash of vanilla almond milk creamer. I wish I could drink it black, but as much as I have tried over the years, I just need that touch of sweetness.