Rebecca Loebe — does that name ring a bell?
The now Austin-based singer/songwriter made waves on the first season of "The Voice" when she performed Nirvana’s "Come As You Are," landing her a spot on Adam Levine’s team. Before that, the 33-year-old worked full-time in the music business, working at a recording studio in South Boston and eventually producing two full-length studio albums of her own. In her own words, she describes her sound as "lyrically-driven acoustic folk rock." Want a taste?
The Berklee College of Music alum returns to Cambridge on March 24 to promote her fourth album "Blink," featuring what Loebe considers her best work.
Got writer’s block? Start a songwriting group.
Five years after her last album, Loebe found inspiration for this album following a songwriting retreat she attended in West Texas. It was soon after that she started her own Monday night songwriting group — an idea taken from Jack Hardy, the Greenwich Village folk musician who hosted a Monday evening songwriter’s circle back in the ‘70s.
“It immediately had an impact on my creative output because I had this deadline—this weekly deadline of other writers coming over and I had to finish up whatever idea was haunting me. “
She jokes that it also provided her with a social life, as she had yet to create one since moving to Austin, Texas. Through the songwriting group, she wrote tracks "Forever Young Forever" and "Lie." From there, it just flowed.
“Everything I had written up to that point was basically my brain clearing its throat, but then I had gotten to where I wanted to be and the statement I wanted to make, and what my themes were.”
A little IRS inspiration…
“A little bit later in the year, I got audited by the IRS, which was kind of funny," she remembers.
Loebe defended herself, with her lawyer's guidance and blessing. (He apparently even joked, “Plus I know how much you make, and know you can’t afford to pay me to do it.") And it was in that entire month preparing for the audit, that Loebe found distraction in songwriting.
“As you can imagine, I was finding myself very inspired all the time. “
Loebe was doing music full time for about five years before auditioning for "The Voice"
I had stress dreams about it every night for six months after I left,” Loebe admits. She did not advance past the battle rounds, but she was the only non-semifinalist with a song on "The Voice: Season 1 Highlights."
"I just love listening to you sing... in a genuine way," Levine told her.
There was what she considers “tangible results” (i.e. social media following, more people on her email list, CD sales, etc.). Still, she says, “The biggest takeaway was actually completely intangible and that was by being a constant on the show, I really learned what it feels like to be judged — by an audience, by my employers, a panel of judges.”
As far as 2017, Loebe hopes to keep pushing her music, finding new audiences and writing songs that make her feel as happy as she is with "Blink."
“It’s the most satisfied I’ve felt with a body of work I’ve put out."
If you go:
March 24 at 8 p.m.
47 Palmer St., Cambridge