Rachel Reinert was just 18 when she joined pop-country harmony group Gloriana. Within a year, she and bandmates Tom and Mike Gossin, as well as Cheyenne Kimball, hit the Top 15 on the country charts with “Wild at Heart” in 2009. That same year, the duo earned a CMT Award, as well as an American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. By 2010, the group had been named the ACM’s Top New Vocal Group, and in 2011, Gloriana’s “(Kissed You) Good Night” reached No. 2 on the Hot Country chart. “Wild at Heart” was certified Gold, while “(Kissed You) Good Night” was certified Platinum.
“I joined this band and we had been on this rocketship,” recalls Reinert, who moved to Nashville at 16 to pursue a career as a solo artist and songwriter. “We were barely a band for a year when we started opening for Taylor Swift in arenas. It was a crazy ride—one I’m grateful for because I have so many great memories.”
But 2011 also brought about major changes for the group, as Kimball left before the release of the band’s second album, A Thousand Miles Left Behind. Reinert would stay on with the Gossins for 2015’s album Three.
Reinert also left the band in 2016, determined to get a recording contract as a solo artist—and the opportunity to showcase her own songs, something she says was tough to come by as part of her former group.
“I was writing [while] in Gloriana but there were so many people who had their hand in choosing what we would do. It was definitely one of those situations when you are one girl against 10 men deciding things like that, it was difficult to get my voice heard. But that’s part of the beauty of doing this on my own—I can call the shots and make my own decisions. It is important that I write all my own songs. Every song has to be very reflective of who I am. I’m very excited about what I’m doing and excited for people to hear it and hope the right doors open.”
Though not signed with a label or publisher at the moment, Reinert has spent the past couple of years finding her voice as an artist, and reclaiming her dreams of a solo career.
During a recent visit to the MusicRow Magazine offices, she showcased several of those self-penned songs, including “Cool,” a single she released earlier this year, which traces the dissolution of a young romance.
The months of writing new music and experimenting with new sounds also resulted in her latest single, “Dark Star,” which she co-wrote with Joe Pisapia (Guster) and K.S. Rhoads. The track was produced by Davis Naish.
“This song really came from a place of frustration,” Reinert says. “When I left Gloriana, I think I had this idea that I was going to turn around and immediately get a [solo] record deal and that did not work out. It was a very frustrating time because I was very wrong. I had walked away from everything and had to sacrifice a lot to fight to be a solo artist to be on my own.
“I was in this place where I felt like I was falling behind and watching all of these other people come up with all these amazing opportunities. You just feel like ‘Why is it not me?’ and you are comparing yourself to other people constantly. Then, just hearing people talk about ‘Oh, she’s done,’ or ‘She’s given up.’ Even though I didn’t have any music out at the time, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t out there putting the work in and trying to make things happen. This song is my way of saying, ‘I’m still here and I’m still fighting for this.’”
With her new music, Reinert celebrates her California roots, and her early influences including Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and Neil Young. “I wanted to capture that kind of essence of Southern California, but still have this modern country feeling.”
“Dark Star” releases to all digital retailers and streaming services Oct. 26, and is available to radio via PlayMPE on Oct. 15. Reinert is in the studio working on an upcoming debut solo album, expected to release in early 2019.
- CMA Honors Robert Deaton With Chairman’s Award - December 4, 2020
- Nashville Symphony, Nashville Musicians Association Reach Agreement - December 4, 2020
- Zach Williams’ “Chain Breaker” Is Most-Added On ‘MusicRow’ CountryBreakout Radio Chart - December 4, 2020