By Jenny Grant
CALGARY – It’s been a busy year for Rachel Beck, with new adventures and a few leaps of faith. Her first solo album was released in March and she saw her single “Restless Heart” reach #1 on CBC Music’s Top 20, while another cut from the record, “Restless Heart”, was chosen for the trailer of Season 2 of Anne With An E. In the wake of the album’s success, the P.E.I songstress that now calls Toronto home with her husband and three children, toured across eastern Canada for most of the summer after resigning from her position as a junior high teacher.
“It’s a very different September for me,” Rachel laughs. “This time last year, I was focused on preparing for the school year. Now, I’m doing my music full time, booking flights and making sure I have all my gear.” In late September, she started her eastern tour in Newfoundland but not before spending the day with her son, who was home sick from school. That balance – of career, ambition, passion, of motherhood – is one of Beck’s defining traits.
If art imitates life, and vice-versa, Rachel masters balance. Her debut album features subtle shifts within the dichotomy of sweetly heartbreaking songs and other tracks that are exuberantly celebratory in their hopefulness. “For me,” says Beck, “it’s important to go to the sad places and feel them, but not linger there.” She admits to always embracing the good, trusting the universe and never playing two sad songs in a row.
Her fall tour takes her from Contact East in Newfoundland, to Showcase in P.E.I, Folk Music Ontario, and then out to western Canada for ten days. Playing in western Canada is something entirely new for Beck, playing her first-ever western gig at the Up+DT. “I feel almost ashamed for admitting it, but I’ve never been west of Ontario, but I’m really excited,” she shares. “I’ll be playing an opener as a trio – I’ll be on piano and will have a cellist and percussionist. There will be tunes from the new album, but also a ‘mystery’ cover song that I’ve been working on.”
It’s Mötörhead, right? It’s gotta be a Mötörhead song.East Comes West, Rachel Beck