Named ‘2019’s best album’ in Halifax’s ‘The Coast’
The cover for Blue Lobelia’s Beneath all Bloom features a fairytale-feeling scene of a woman asleep under a canopy of giant wildflowers. The image sticks as a huge scaffolding of song—with violin, cello, drumbeat punctuations and breathy vocals that contain the horsepower of a whole choir—rise stories above your ears. The slightest taste of trad music sits in the back of your mouth, rounded with indie-folk vibes. It’s unlike anything else you’ve listened to this year, a thing of bright beauty in a time that desperately needs it.
Reviews by The East
July 20th, 2021
June 13th, 2019
March 30th, 2019
““Look for Your God” feels soft and tender while emotional and raw.”
Article in Kitchener-Waterloo’s The Record
September 29th, 2017
Rachel Bruch, a.k.a. Blue Lobelia, is inspired by a beautiful blue flower of the same name.
“I did a casual work-exchange with a medicine man on Manitoulin Island,” says Bruch. “Joseph Pitawanakwat is his name and he has an amazing project called “Creators Garden.” That summer we had a lot of trouble finding that flower, as there is tons of environmental destruction happening,” says Bruch, adding she’s shortening her artist’s name to “Belia” after this current tour.
Bruch is based in Halifax but is originally from Niagara Falls.
Her mother was a church organist so she was a cantor and sang in the church choir in addition to studying voice. Her mother is also a piano teacher so Bruch also took group lessons with MYC (Music for Young Children).
Bruch is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar and violin. She studied music in Niagara Falls with Sandra Mason and violin in St. Catharines with family friend, Marybeth Doherty.
When she moved here for university she majored in voice and music therapy at WLU under Lynda Mieske.
Bruch has a deep connection to the environment. Her music is rich, atmospheric and airy but also fluid like water. Her 2016 DIY album “Perennial” is an ebb and flow of sound — sometimes a sparkling brook, sometimes a tidal wave of different thoughts and feelings created by her innovative looping strings-and voice technique.
She says her song composition process is ever changing.
“Sometimes it happens all at once in the moment, in the right spirit or through a small ritual to put myself in the right headspace,” she said. “Other times the lyrics or the dream comes in one day but the music develops slowly over months! It’s often in the recording process that the music is reshaped. Since touring, the experience of playing songs over and over is part of the writing!”
Bruch has the ethereal sound of Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, Delirium, and Sarah McLachlan. (Read More)
— Carol Andrews (Waterloo Region Record)