Loebe is not just another talent. She’s a talent — a sophisticated, mature writer with a relevant point of view and an assured, nuanced voice that’s both elegant and earthy, powerful and delicate, with a range and depth she hints at more than flashes. When the moment’s right, however, she’ll glide up a scale like Norah Jones, or drop right into a crag in Fiona Apple’s sidewalk.
But timing and delivery alone don’t make an artist. There’s got to be substance as well, and Loebe fearlessly probes the rawest corners of her psyche to find it. “There's a lot of me talking to myself,” she says. “I’m writing a lot of empowerment jams these days, and I think it's because it's what I need. I've written albums full of what I needed to say, but this album is full of songs I need to hear.”
And now she’s on a guerrilla mission to share messages others need to hear as well. “I like to write catchy songs about topics that are meaningful to me, but use fun hooks to put words in people's mouths,” Loebe admits. “My favorite thing is to get people singing along before they even realize they're singing Inventively marrying elements of folk, pop, rock, blues and jazz, Loebe takes vocal left turns when you think she’ll go right, or shifts from breezy to profound in a single phrase. And each surprising twist makes her music that much more entrancing.
Blue Corn’s Denby Auble was so enthralled by her 2017 album, Blink, he immediately invited her to join his Houston-based label (home to three-time Grammy nominee Ruthie Foster). By then, she’d already cast her spell over Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition judges, who made her a winner in 2009, and talent scouts for The Voice, who asked her to audition for the show’s debut season. (Her version of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” charted worldwide and landed on the show’s first compilation album.) Two years later, Alternate Root magazine ranked her ninth on its list of America’s top female vocalists.
Turns out Loebe made the right choice when she decided she’d rather sing her own songs than work in a studio recording others’.
Born in Arlington, Virginia and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Loebe was always musical. She picked up a guitar at 11 and honed her vocals in high school (where she also joined the wrestling team). After graduating at 16, she became the second-youngest member of her class at Berklee College of Music, and one of too few women studying audio engineering. But when a mentor encouraged her stay creative, she realized she wanted to sing the songs she’d secretly written for years. She took a job in a Boston studio, but snuck in after hours to record the demos that became her first album.
Returning to Atlanta so she could tour without paying Boston rents, she hooked up with studio owner and producer Will Robertson, who’d helped birth that album and a follow-up EP. Bartering studio work for recording time, she recorded 2010’s Mystery Prize, which spent 2½ months on the Americana Music Association’s airplay chart and made its yearend top 100.