Rachel Brooke eats tomatoes every day.
She's loved them since she was young and now considers them part of who she is. That’s why the singer from Lovells featured them so prominently on the cover of “The Loneliness in Me” ― because she says this album is the most authentic record she’s released.
"The best way I try to describe it is, it really is truly me," she says. "It’s my personality coming out very pure."
The old-school country sound that fans expect from Brooke is back in "The Loneliness in Me," which came out in October. And she has a message for the people who don’t like her sound: she doesn’t care.
That mindset is exemplified at the end of the music video for title track “The Loneliness in Me.” The video shows Brooke on stage singing, and as she concludes, a tomato gets tossed on stage in her direction. That’s when she picks it up, wipes it off, and takes a big bite out of it.
“You don’t have to like it because guess what, I love tomatoes!” Brooke says laughing. “You don’t like me, that’s ok man, that’s cool. I don’t really care.”
A lot changed for Brooke in the eight years since she released her last solo album "A Killer’s Dream." Her singing career paused as she had her first child and worked a day job. Brooke says in the moment she didn’t feel inspired to write music, but as her son got older she got more time to focus on her craft.
“I could take a step back and I saw that there were a lot of things to write about during that break,” she explains.
“I actually found that I had a lot of inspiration there in my home and in my job and in not being able to do the things I wanted to do. But it just took time.”
That reflection led to a new batch of songs which she bundled into her most recent album.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Brooke planned to release “The Loneliness in Me” and then promote it through touring and live performances. When those plans got shelved, she decided to release the album anyway.
“I had all these thoughts going through my head about how I should do it, if I should do it ― I chose to just do it and hope for the best,” she says.
That decision meant Brooke has had to do most all of her album promotion through social media. She says that experience has been an “exercise in ego” ― trying to figure out if anyone out there was even listening to her new work.
“Everything is very short-lived,” she says. “There’s like this immediate reaction to it but then it’s gone the next day.”
Brooke grew up in Lovells and still lives there today. She says sometimes it’s nice to be removed from everything, but other times it feels like she couldn’t get away if she tried. She wrote about it in a song titled “The Lovells Stockade Blues.”
“So, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I’m stuck here, stuck here alone with my own thoughts,’” she says. “I kind of related that to being stuck in a jail or a prison or something and then also kind of liking it.”
Find more information about Rachel Brooke at her website. She hopes to start touring later this year.