Nearly every singer you can think of has written or sang lyrics about heartbreak. For up-and-comer Rachel Bochner, recent track “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” embraces the melancholy wholeheartedly.
A cut from her upcoming EP expected to drop this summer, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” follows the success of “Sucker Punch” and sees collaborator Tiger Darrow return for production duties.
A unabashed breakup anthem, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad” leans into the vibe through trippy alt-pop production meant to capture a mix of disappointment and looking toward something new.
The track originally had a different character – more upbeat but, in a sense, also somewhat flippant. Bochner and Darrow then veered toward earnest and authentic for a distinct emotional edge and an undercurrent of self-empowerment and even some humor.
Based out of New York, Bochner has been seeing her career rise due to a mix of vulnerability paired with wit and attitude:
How did you get started with singing and songwriting?
I’ve been singing and performing since I was really little, but the songwriter in me was born a bit later on. I’ve always loved music and knew I wanted it to be a large part of my life, but for a while, I thought that meant I needed to work at a label.
I interned doing A&R in the summer of 2018, which coincidentally is right when I started to really seriously write, and it all clicked for me.
After that internship, I shifted pretty much all of my focus to making songs, figuring out who I was as a songwriter and artist, and navigating how to start sharing my music with the world.
You made your debut roughly three years ago. How have you changed as an artist since then?
I don’t even feel like the same person I was when I started releasing music three years ago. I’ve grown immensely as a writer, artist, and creative person, and I feel like I’ve gained more confidence than I ever expected.
I really struggled with imposter syndrome at first, because I’m not the kind of artist that grew up writing since I knew how to hold a pencil … I’m a late bloomer in that regard, and that felt really intimidating for a long time.
Since I released my first single, I’ve found the people I love collaborating with who both believe in me and push me to be better, and I’ve learned to trust my musical instincts and avoid comparing myself to others (most of the time, at least).
Your sound is often described as alt-pop. What influences you as an artist and songwriter?
My life, the experiences of the people close to me, music I’m listening to and loving, and my imagination.
I don’t really box myself in when it comes to what I write about or what sound I’m trying to achieve. I’ve definitely sort of found a world that I like for my work to live in, but I like to just trust the process and see where it leads.
What inspired your new track “If I’m Gunna Be Sad”?
Basically, I was inspired by the fact that, despite my best efforts to come off as a stone cold, badass, independent woman, I am admittedly a sad girl at my core.
My co-writer, Tiger Darrow, and I were originally trying to write an IDGAF type song, but we quickly realized that it just didn’t feel authentic to either of us to act like we were so unbothered.
After that realization, we started playing with the idea of acknowledging that you’re hurt in a situation, but not letting it define you or steal all of your joy.
Your recent releases are also leading up to an EP due later this year. What should listeners expect for this release?
Expect some of my favorite songs I’ve created to date.
Heartbreak is a theme on “If I’m Gunna Be Sad” and its predecessor “Sucker Punch.” How do you explore this theme through lyrics and music?
A lot of the time when I’m writing, I’m pulling from a bunch of different places for inspiration – it can be autobiographical, inspired by things I’ve seen my friends go through, or even be a bit fictional.
Regardless of where I’m jumping off from though, I always try to make sure the emotion that’s being conveyed is genuine and feels genuine. I think that’s what makes songs feel the most relatable.
While you’ve been releasing music independently since 2020, you signed a deal not too long ago with Handwritten Records. What does this mean for your career going forward?
It’s really exciting to see the team growing – I feel very lucky to have people supporting and believing in me.
I’m looking forward to continuing to grow as an artist, create more music I love, and seeing where this next year takes us.
Along with your upcoming EP, what else should we expect from you later this year?
Videos, shows, merch, and hopefully the ghostie fam (my fans) doubling or tripling in size!!!
Your career is still taking off. What are your hopes or aspirations for the next five or so years as an artist?
I think that success can look and feel like so many different things, so my plan is to continue to work hard and trust that it’ll all happen the way it’s meant to.
In the next few years, I hope to tour all over and meet fans in real life, keep improving as a writer/performer, see my music in movies/TV shows, and to feel really happy and fulfilled!