Though born in Chicago, singer/songwriter Rachel Gollay’s formative years were spent in the town of Rockwall, which she says, “has since become a mall.” TCU drew her to Fort Worth, where college allowed her musical skills to develop and introduced her to many future collaborators. Music lovers are lucky stint in Bloomington proved academia was not for her. After completing her course of study, she brought her exceptional talent back to Cowtown.
Upon her return, Facebook served as a profound tool for reconnecting with music folks like Russell Jack and Stephen Beatty. Un Chien, Beatty’s newest band, invited her and her guitar to jam and things went from there. When we spoke, the band had just won Fort Worth Weekly’s Indie-Rock Album of the Year and Gollay picked up the Panthy for her vocals on Against Love from the self-titled album from Denton’s Hand Drawn Records.
Following those successes, I wanted to discuss her upcoming solo debut Built For Love, after her outstanding opening set before Jacob Furr at Live Oak. With her silver left-handed Gretsch, she started solo before welcoming out bandmates Joshua Ryan Jones and Russell Jack. The baroque pop had an immediately striking ease which recalls all-time great Aimee Mann.
The record is as stylish and sonically adventurous as the performance indicated, full of tunes Gollay has worked on for years while retaining the sweep of creativity within the recording. Her employer was so impressed by her drive that they initiated a company-wide arts grant in support of the record, “I hear people talk about their day jobs, I have a job I love and I have music. At the end of the day, I’m a very lucky broad.”
Releasing next month, Built For Love shows signs of monster talent, and the sparkling depth of character rewards repeat listening. “At a certain point, I realized that in order to truly flesh out these songs I needed to work with other people. You can be independent – alone or with other people. It becomes a whole different animal when you start adding people. It pushes me even more.” When former neighbor Russell Jack, who’d been producing records in New York, let her know he was returning to Fort Worth, yet another piece clicked into place, “I’d always appreciated his sensibilities and his approach to producing. So we recorded some rough tracks, and then he brought in his friend, drummer Josh Jones.” Diving into the collaborative process, they sought out producer Taylor Tatsch, who was still tweaking the levels when we spoke.