It’s been eight years since Rachel Brooke has released a solo album. Over the course of those eight years, Brooke admittedly did some life living and shifted her focus to other aspects in her life. With that reflection and living now under her belt, Brooke is ready to return with her new album, The Loneliness in Me, set for release on October 23.
The album, which sees Brooke tapping into her signature, smooth vocal and crafting 12 stories that are to be taken in as one collective piece. It is that continuity, as well the “easter eggs” that Brooke sprinkles throughout the record, make for a thought provoking listen.
We chatted with Brooke about the two singles released from the album so far, her process of crafting the album, what she hopes listeners take away from it and more!
Pro Country: It’s been eight years since you released your last solo album, A Killer’s Dream. How anxious were you to release your new album, The Loneliness in Me, after that layoff?
Rachel Brooke: I was very, very ready to get this one out. It has been a long time. However, I do trust the process. I know that during this time, there were other aspects of my life that needed attention, and because of that, I am right where I need to be now.
PC: With A Killer’s Dream, you had some of your greatest streaming success to date. As you are preparing to release The Loneliness in Me, is there any level of pressure you’re feeling, internally or externally, to match or surpass the success of A Killer’s Dream?
RB: I don’t feel much pressure, because that’s really something I can’t control. I sure hope people will stream and listen, but that algorithm stuff is tricky.
PC: “Great Mistake” served as the lead single from The Loneliness in Me, and is a song that discusses the importance of appreciating what one has in life. What went into the decision to release that as the lead single? Was the song a message to yourself in a way?
RB: I think that this song is pretty and has very strong writing, which is why I wanted it to be first heard. It also sets the tone for the record, I think. This song was actually written with someone else in mind, not necessarily myself.
PC: You released “The Loneliness in Me” towards the end of September. What went into the decision to make it the title track and what does that song mean to you?
RB: This song is important because it represents my life and what I’ve been doing since my last release. I thought it would be a good song to release prior to the album so people could catch up. Plus it’s a hit song if I ever heard one. 😉
PC: “The Awful Parts of Me” is one on our favorite songs on The Loneliness in Me. Can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
RB: Musically, it was inspired by that weird-but-cool 1960s orchestra sound. I really love that stuff. And I really wanted to make it dramatic and stand alone. The album has quite a few “easter eggs” hidden in it, and this song has three alone.
PC: Many artists have said the last song on an album is one of the most important. “I Miss It Like It’s Gone” is a heavy-hitting, emotional close to The Loneliness in Me. Why did you feel that song was best to close out the record?
RB: This song is like a lot of the songs on the record, as it has its own sound and place. I chose to make this one last because it’s somewhat reminiscent of a lot of my older songs. I even reference one of those songs in the lyrics. Ironically, it was also the last song that I wrote for the entire record. I don’t believe it was meant to be any other place than at the very end.
PC: As you have on your previous releases, you had several high-caliber musicians playing on The Loneliness in Me, with the addition of legendary steel playing Dave Feeny. What does it mean to you to have Dave on the album? What is it like recording with such high caliber musicians?
RB: One of my ALL-TIME favorite country records released in the last 15 years is Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn. It’s just so good. Dave Feeny played on that record, and with some really special bands out of Detroit. It means a lot to me that he has added his unique touch to the record. I’m just really happy and grateful to have such talented people on the record and that they wanted to be a part of it.
PC: Do you have a favorite song on The Loneliness in Me? If so, why is it so special to you?
RB: I might have been able to pick one when we were writing/recording, but unfortunately I’ve listened to them too many times to like them anymore [laughs]. But really, I think they all have their own sound. It’s so hard to pick a favorite.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from The Loneliness in Me after listening all the way through?
RB: I hope people will listen and hear the amount of care and attention we put into the writing. I also really hope they see the project as a whole. I’m sure people have their favorite songs, but I think this is an “album” and I hope that people can enjoy the songs together, and not just as a single on Spotify.
PC: 2020 has altered most of the plans of artists so far. Of the things you can control, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
RB: My plan for 2020 is to try and get some shows booked for next year. I am also writing for the next record, and I would like to have those ready to record next year too. I want to keep going and making the hits.
*Rachel’s music is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*