INTERVIEW: Rachel Reese

Hi Rachel, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello!  I’ve been great- thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me about my music! 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Dozen Roses”?

I’d love to!  “Dozen Roses” is the first single off my upcoming record I’ll be releasing early next year.  Lyrically, it’s a classic “done-me-wrong” story, but told from a position of strength rather than feeling powerless in the situation.  Even though i’ve obviously been hurt by the actions of the person i’m singing about, I’m done being sad about it and am ready to walk away because I realize he isn’t going to change.  

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I wish I could say I’ve only been in this situation once, but unfortunately i’ve loved a few lost causes over the years!  My tolerance for being disrespected has definitely diminished as i’ve gotten older- a younger me might have felt compelled to give someone another chance or make excuses for that kind of behavior…but the attitude in “Dozen Roses” is completely representative of what my response would be at this point in my life.  I’m not going to waste my time being in a relationship with someone I can’t trust.  Everyone deserves to love and be loved by someone who makes them feel valued and safe.  

Any plans to release a video for the single?

No plans to release a video for this song right now, but I think it’s a concept that would lend itself well to one, so it’s definitely possible we might release one in the future!  

How was the recording and writing process?

I cut all the songs for the record right here in Austin at Cedar Creek Recording- an incredible, historic studio where so many other artists I admire have recorded amazing albums, from Sheryl Crow to Shawn Colvin and The Dixie Chicks.  It’s a very special place, set on 9 acres in South Austin…but you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.  I did a lot of the writing for this project, as well as my last EP “Siren” that I released last year, there…so it sort of feels like a musical “home” to me at this point.

Andrew Hernandez engineered the sessions, and we had Jesse LaFave on guitar, Katie Marie on drums and percussion, Nathan Hufford on bass, Radoslav Lorkovic on B3 and and Grace Pettis and Jesse LaFave singing background vocals.  Not only are each of them a force of nature musically, they’re also incredibly creative and wonderful people i’m lucky enough to call my friends.  We had so much fun in the studio and everything just flowed, so i’m not surprised that what we created in our time there ended up being very special. 

What role does Austin play in your music?

I feel like anyone who’s spent time in Austin recognizes the vibe here is very laid-back…you can go to dinner in jeans and everyone is very relaxed and accepting of people as they are.  I’ve found that to be the case in the music scene as well, which seems to foster a lot of creativity and diversity.  I personally feel very free to explore whatever happens to be inspiring and influencing me at any particular moment, and am surrounded by talented musicians who generously support me in fulfilling my vision.  As an artist and a writer, that’s something i’m infinitely grateful for and it’s absolutely a force behind everything I do. 

Known for playing with different musical styles – how do you go on balancing all these influences together?

I honestly don’t focus much on how all my influences contribute to my own style and sound.  I’ve spent a lot of time immersed in the music I love though, so while those influences may not always be conscious I’m certain they are present!  

How your upbringing has influence your writing?

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma.  People in the midwest pride themselves on being very forthright and honest in their dealings with one another, which is exactly how I try to approach the subject matter in my songs.  Most of the people in my family are musical in one way or another…my mother listened to a lot of 70’s singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Jim Croce, which gave me a deep appreciation for the power of a well-crafted song when stripped down to it’s most basic elements.  Country music was the first music I remember hearing and singing as a child, and was definitely what I heard the most on the radio.  I always loved the stories told in country songs and the timelessness of the themes woven through them…love, heartbreak, family- the REAL stuff that life is made up of.  So it makes sense that I grew up wanting to explore those themes in my own writing. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes!  “Dozen Roses” is the first song I’m getting to share from an album I am incredibly proud of and so excited to release.  I feel like I have grown a lot since my last project, which I hope is reflected in my music… but it is still very “me”, so this record feels like a natural progression from my previous work.  

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The record will be coming out early next year and it’s titled “West”.  

Any plans to hit the road?

I took some time off this year to record the album, and focus on a few other projects i’ve had in the works…so I will definitely be playing a lot more shows in 2019.  I can’t wait to get back out there and share this new music with everyone!

What else is happening next in Rachel Reese’s world?

Just continuing to write new songs and record them…going out and performing my songs for people who are fans of what I do.  Life is good and only seems to be getting better…so I just want to remain open to all it’s possibilities, musically and otherwise! 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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