In the vibrant world of pop music, rising singer-songwriter Rachel Bochner captivates audiences with her bold and fearless approach to storytelling. Her latest single, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It),” offers a raw and relatable glimpse into the emotional turmoil of heartbreak, all while delivering an irresistibly catchy tune.
The single, produced by and co-written with frequent collaborator Tiger Darrow, follows the lead single “Sucker Punch” from her much-anticipated upcoming EP set to release this summer. Rachel’s distinctive songwriting style seamlessly blends vulnerability and defiance, transforming pain into empowerment. As she navigates the complexities of heartache, her music encourages listeners to embrace their feelings and find humor in the darkness.
Regarding the record, Bochner shared, “When I showed up at Tiger’s studio the day we wrote this single, all I knew is that I wanted to make a song we could strut to. We started off writing something that embodied more of an IDGAF attitude, but after a while, we realized it just didn’t feel super authentic.”
Their journey to create “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” began with the desire to make a song that resonates with authenticity and self-affirmation, ultimately leading to a powerful breakup anthem that invites listeners to strut their way through sadness. She adds, “There was a moment when we were working on it when we realized, okay, maybe we do kind of give a f*ck… but if we’re going to be sad, we might as well look hot doing it.”
The singer’s upcoming EP promises an eclectic mix of tracks that dance between melancholic, energetic, and playful, as Rachel skillfully explores themes of self-worth and resilience. With her unique ability to give grit to vulnerability, the New York-based artist has quickly established herself as a force to be reckoned with since her debut in 2020. As we eagerly anticipate the release of her next full-length project, Rachel Bochner is undoubtedly poised to leave an indelible mark on the pop music landscape.
Since your debut in 2020, you’ve gained traction for your fiery pop sound and whip-smart lyricism. How do you think your sound has evolved since your debut, and what have been some key influences shaping your music?
Since my first release, I’ve come into myself a lot more as a person and an artist. I feel like I can really trust my instincts as a writer now, and I’ve found collaborators that understand me and the world I want my music to live in. Finding my people has really been huge for me in terms of building my confidence, challenging me to be better, and supporting me. It’s really cool to be able to release this song with Tiger, because she’s played such a massive role in my musical journey.
Your new single, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It),” has a catchy and empowering message. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the song and its title?
Tiger [Darrow] and I really were just having fun writing this one. We were inspired mainly by just poking fun at the fact that we are sad girls at our cores, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look good doing it. The title makes me laugh. Something about the unnecessarily long title felt melodramatic and funny and right, even though it’s an absolute mouthful.
You previously mentioned that the song started with a different attitude but evolved into something more authentic. How did you and Tiger Darrow navigate this shift in tone during the writing process?
Tiger and I are really close, and I feel like we have a good sense for when we need to take a beat during a session to reset. Even though we spent a solid amount of time trying to write an idea that we ended up moving away from, it ultimately helped us come up with the actual concept for “If I’m Gunna Be Sad,” so I never consider those false starts a waste… Songwriting is definitely a “trust the process” kind of thing.
Whether it be teasing new music or connecting with your fans online, I feel like your makeup looks sometimes encapsulate the energy you project in your songs. How does your personal style inform your creativity as you continue to recreate different iterations of yourself?
The music I’m making tends to mirror the energy I’m feeling in my life at the time, and my style kind of works the same. My mood, what I’m doing, and what energy I’m trying to bring throughout my day all inform me if I’m going to dress like I’m a witch, a princess, or grab the first pair of jeans and t-shirt in my drawer. With this EP, I was definitely channeling a bit of femme fatale, woman-scorned, melodramatic, semi-crazy girlie energy, and I wanted that to translate in the visuals that have and will accompany the EP as it rolls out.
With your new EP set to release later this year, what can fans expect from the project in terms of sound, themes, and collaborations?
The EP, It’s Not Me, It’s U, really just airs out some of the messy emotions that come with navigating relationships, heartbreak, and self-love as a 20-something-year-old. Some of my favorite songs I’ve ever made are on this project, and I can’t wait for the whole thing to be out.
That being said, how do you feel the narrative of “Sucker Punch” and “If I’m Gunna Be Sad (I Might As Well Look Hot Doing It)” reflect the overarching theme of what you hope to achieve through the project?
“Sucker Punch” and “If I’m Gunna Be Sad” both touch on the ways we try to cope with heartbreak, but from different angles. “Sucker Punch” is about getting lost in a revenge fantasy and letting yourself kind of sit with your anger in a way that makes you feel more powerful at the end of it. On the other hand, “If I’m Gunna Be Sad” reflects a more avoidant approach – instead of sitting in my bedroom crying over someone or something, why not call my best friends up, get dressed up, and turn a night out into a fun distraction. Are either methods the most healthy? Who knows… but that’s the experience I’m trying to speak to.
As you’ve stated previously in the past, you want listeners to know that it’s okay to feel their feelings and find humor in the darkness. How do you personally navigate the balance between vulnerability and humor in your songwriting?
I try not to take myself too seriously when I’m writing. I’d rather lay it all out there and then edit it down (or not) than write a song that feels like its missing substance. I think I’ve found a sense of freedom in not feeling like I have to be the most prolific, inspiring, and wise version of myself when I’m writing. There are days where I’m writing from a really heartfelt, introspective, thoughtful place, but sometimes, I just want to write about being sad and hot at the same time.
Beyond music, what are you passionate about at the moment? Is there anything in particular that moves you?
Music definitely consumes most of my life, but I think balance is really important to keep inspiration flowing. Now that it’s warm in New York, I love spending time outside – whether that’s in Central Park or getting out of the city to hike somewhere beautiful. Making time for friends and family is also really important to me. I have 4 sisters that I love so much, so any time we’re all in the same place I feel totally whole again.