For eight years, Rachel Reinert traveled the world as part of country trio Gloriana. The band saw success with hit singles “(Kissed You) Good Night” and “Wild At Heart,” and won an ACM Award for Top New Vocal Group. Rachel, who moved to Nashville at 16 with the dream of being a solo artist, knew her chance at a solo career was getting slimmer. So in 2015, she decided it was time to leave the band. While she says the decision was difficult, as Gloriana was like family to her, she knew the moment to pursue a career on her own had come.
“I had moved to Nashville at a pretty young age, wanting to be a solo artist,” Rachel tells One Country over the phone. “I knew there would be a day that would come that I would feel like I needed to hang my hat up with the Gloriana thing and pursue that. It wasn’t any specific event. There was no dramatic thing that went on or anything like that. It really came down to me feeling like my journey was over with that. I’d given it three albums and eight years of my life. It just felt like the right thing, at the right time.”
While Rachel is uncertain if her former bandmates, brothers Tom and Mike Gossin, have heard her new single, “Cool,” she says they have been in touch over the years and tried their best to keep things amicable.
“When you’re with people for that long and one person decided that they want to go in a different direction, it’s hard to keep those bonds the way that they once were,” she admits.
The path to a solo career wasn’t as easy as Rachel had anticipated. Once people in the industry learned she left Gloriana, phone calls and writing appointments with songwriters were few and far between. People she thought were her friends were nowhere to be found and she had to sell her house to make ends meet.
“When you feel like you are just stuck and people are ghosting you left and right and they’re not responding to you, or they’re falsely promising you things and then there’s no follow through, that wears on you,” she says softly. “I spent pretty much all of 2016 going through an endless loop of that and it wore me down. It was probably the hardest year of my life.”
Despite these hardships, Rachel refused to give up on her dream. She remained positive, hit the reset button and kept listening to an internal voice that told her, “You’ve gotta keep going.” Piece by piece, she built her solo career from the ground up and Rachel says she’s more grateful now for every success that has come her way.
“Going through the difficult times and getting really pissed off at people treating me like s–t, I think that motivated me more than anything. It was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to not prove these people wrong but I’m going to prove myself right,'” she explains.
Rachel has most of the songs written for her forthcoming solo album, likely due out in 2019. She has co-written each one and says songwriting was a very cathartic outlet for her throughout the ups and downs 2016 brought. Her debut single, “Cool,” is an introduction to her solo project with a distinct Laurel Canyon influence.
The California native says her roots will be heard in the new music. This sweeping Laurel Canyon sound can be heard throughout the laidback “Cool,” which Rachel penned with producer Davis Naish and Melissa Fuller. She went into the session wanting to write about her first love and it evolved into a song that discussed their relationship and how it changed into a lifelong friendship.
“It’s all true to me because it is a unique situation where I had my first love and was crazy about this guy, we were crazy about each other. Then, we had this huge falling out and this really messy break up and over the span of almost 15 years, we’ve managed to develop this friendship,” she explains. “‘Cool’ is] looking back on it and going, ‘This is what made me who I am today.'”
Completely invested in her solo career, Rachel says she has total ownership over the project this time around. She adds that “Cool” sets up the music she’ll be releasing in the future and hopes that listeners will have a better understanding of who she is through her solo work.
“It really is such a pillar to this California country sound that I’ve been working on for so long and I also wanted to come out with something that people weren’t expecting me to come out with,” she admits. “I know that it is a very different song, it’s a different sounding song. It’s also a huge piece of my heart and so, I just wanted people to know from the get-go what this sound is. This is the California country sound that I’m going with and this is me, this is who I am.”