Nashville-based songwriter and musician, Rachel Price, has recently released her new EP, Something New, featuring six songs. These songs explore a more pop-sound, while still keeping true to Price’s roots. Originally from Nebraska, Price incorporates her experiences of growing up in Nebraska, and making her home in Nashville, altogether showcasing an artist who is growing personally and artistically.
Something New is a result of written material written by Price in her home in Nashville in late 2017, co-writing with her guitarist Ben Flanders, with whom she’s collaborated for more than two years. Something New was recorded in January 2018 and produced by Flanders also. Price will tour a few stops in Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri throughout the month of August. For future tour dates, click here.
You’re new EP, Something New, has a bit of a pop sound, although it still keeps to your roots authenticity. What made you decide to do that?
Rachel Price: I think just developing over time and writing very consistently. When I first started, you know my first release was like, one of the first songs I had ever written. I didn’t really know where I wanted to be sound-wise. I liked writing everything, but releasing everything with my name on it is a different story. So, I don’t know, I think with this EP it was just kind of … Like, finally coming into my own, as far as sound goes, and writing for myself goes.
Ben Flanders, who’s also your guitarist, you guys work together frequently. What led to you guys collaborating often, and what makes it work between you two?
Rachel: So, initially we met because my first manager was actually working for Ben’s dad in the studio here in Nashville. And we started writing together. After that we wrote together a few times and then it turned out that I needed a new guitarist, and I asked Ben if he wanted to play for me. And he said, “Ask Louie,” and then spending a lot of time together makes it really easy to write together. So, it just kind of, you know, throw balls back and forth playing shows and then writing together. And now, I mean, we just finished our third, or fourth demo of the week.
It’s a very consistent thing. We’re very similar stylistically, and he’s great at guitars, so it works out.
Do you see yourself collaborating and expanding further down the line? Or do you just want to stay with what you’ve got for right now because it works best?
Rachel: I mean, I think that we both have our own things- Outside of each other as well. We’re a very consistent thing, but at the same time, I mean you can’t … if you do the same thing for too long, it’s going to become stagnant eventually, so I like to push myself creatively and, I mean, I have to write with somebody else tomorrow-
In the near future, I’m taking a bunch of publishing meetings, and meeting a bunch of other writers. And I’ve written with a lot of other writers in the past.
Rachel: It’s just, a lot of the time with Ben, it happens pretty organically, like we don’t plan outright. It just kind of happens, which is cool-
With other people, I find that, you know, it’s usually a scheduled thing, and something that I have to push myself creatively to do.
Does your hometown of Nebraska influence you still now as you’re becoming more involved in song writing, or do you find living and writing in Nashville is becoming more of your inspiration?
Rachel: You know, I think it’s still kind of a combination of both. This song, “Something New,” which is the title of the EP is about moving from a small town to a big city, and then going back and visiting. So it’s still very much at the forefront of my life.
Because my whole family is there, and I still love Nebraska, and I love my hometown so much. Whenever I go back, I do draw inspiration from there. And yeah, so I mean, I don’t think it’s getting pushed out by any means. I don’t think it ever will because it’s just always been such a big part of my life- But at the same time, I am drawing more inspiration from other things. Right now I think it’s a good balance, and I hope it stays that way.
And being that a female musician, we’ve come along way, as female musicians. What do you feel has benefited you now that women have more of an open voice and are being heard now more than ever before?
Rachel: I mean, I think that I do look up to some male musicians, but like, at the forefront of my inspiration has always been females. And I think that’s like one of the main driving forces. I mean, Tori Kelly, was the reason that I got into playing guitar and singing. Or one of the main reasons.
And then, you know, Janis Joplin, and Alanis Morissette, and there’s a million people that I could name, but a lot of the bad a** female artists that, it’s like, they’re taken seriously in the music industry and they’re killing the game, and I can do that, too. I definitely think it’s influenced me for sure. I don’t know if I would be where I was, or doing what I’m doing without those roles.
Since you play guitar, what kind do you play? And what gear do you use recording and playing live, or is it the same?
Rachel: It’s the same. So I don’t play a lot of acoustic live. I play on some songs that I’ve written, but Ben does the majority of that. But we both play Taylor’s. Mine’s a 300 Series Taylor. I’ve had it for almost four years now, I think. I don’t even remember what my first brand of guitar was. It was like one of those $50.00 or $100.00 ones from Walmart or something.
But yeah, now I play that Taylor 300 Series and I don’t … I wished I played electric. I would love to do that. I think I will probably start doing that in the near future. I just need to get an electric guitar, but yeah. I play the ukulele a lot live.
What draws you to the ukulele? The sound?
Rachel: For some reason, it’s easy for me to write with a ukulele. You know, it’s small and I can just whip it out wherever I am, and I find that playing dark, minor chords on a ukulele is like one of my favorite things because it’s like … it doesn’t make much sense, but at the same time I just love how it sounds, and I love writing to a dark ukulele progression.
Who was your first concert, and do you have a favorite one overall thus far?
Rachel: My first concert … Oh my. I have no idea. I feel like I’ve been to one when I was way younger, maybe my parents took me to one. But one of the first ones I can remember is Little Big Town and Sara Evans.
I loved Little Big Town, but I didn’t know who Sara Evans was, which is ridiculous. But I absolutely loved Little Big Town, and I was so excited for that one. That was in Nebraska, in Norfolk, in a little town like an hour away from mine.
I didn’t go to a lot of shows when I was growing up because I was in the middle of nowhere so we had to drive three or four hours to go to any shows.
What are the top four albums or artists you wouldn’t want to live without?
Rachel: Oh, okay number one, right off the top of my head is The Very Best of The Eagles. Geography by Tom Misch. Where the Light is Live, John Mayer and Southeastern, Jason Isbell.