Rebecca Loebe is often described as an itinerant folk singer or as she prefers, “a well-dressed homeless person.” She eventually became sick of answering the genre question, so she coined the term “post-brontosaurus indie folk/crunk” to describe her work.
“What I do at the fundamental level is indie/folk. But it’s definitely lyrically based, story driven songwriting. I went for post-brontosaurus partially to be silly, but partially because I was really upset that brontosaurus was not a real dinosaur. Then there’s crunk. I had to throw that in there because I’m from Atlanta. I got to represent,” Loebe said.
Her arrangement of Nirvana’s hit “Come as you are” convinced Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine to turn around on The Voice, which premiered in April 2011. Loebe picked Levine as her coach.
“I chose to join team Adam for really only one reason. My instincts told me to go with Adam because he’s a songwriter. He’s built his whole career around writing music and recording it. Whereas Christina, she launched her career because her voice is freakin’ phenomenal. And that’s great, but that’s not the type of career I wanted to have,” explained Loebe.
Levine immediately noted the talent coming from the petite woman.
“You completely reworked it,” Levine said on the show. “That kind of creativity as far as artistry is concerned is amazing. I just pressed the button because I felt it.”
Although eliminated early, Loebe insists she benefitted from the show as a songwriter.
“The biggest benefit I got from The Voice and this is something I wouldn’t see coming… I just have been extremely happy at every show I’ve performed at since then,” the singer said smiling. “Those two performances I did on the voice were the two scariest performances I’ve ever done.”
She recalls belting out the chorus to Radiohead’s “Creep” with Levine, sitting on her dad’s kitchen floor with a guitar working on the arrangement of the Nirvana hit because she “didn’t want to sing it in the original style because I feel like Kurt Cobain already did that,” and giving up a European tour she planned for a year to be on the show.
Loebe’s career did not begin with The Voice though.
She began singing early on and her father often took her to open mic night at Eddie’s Attic in Georgia.
“It really inspired me and shaped the path I took as a songwriter,” she said.
She graduated high school at the age of 16 and moved to Boston a year later, enrolling at the Berklee College of Music where she graduated with a degree in music production and engineering.
Shortly after, she recorded her first album titled, “Hey, it’s a lonely world.” Since then, Loebe has recorded two EP’s and one full length record. She reflects on the ways she has grown as an artist.
“The first album I really wanted to prove I could produce it myself. Since then, I’ve done a lot of living. Some of it has been a lot of fun. Some of it has been difficult. Life is hard sometimes,” she said.
In 2006, Loebe gave up her Atlanta apartment and began living in her 1992 Toyota Camry Station Wagon. She eventually made her way to Castleton.
Loebe walked into Fireside Café on Oct. 20 and performed for a small crowd of Castleton students who sat captivated by the voice coming from the little body in front of the microphone. She has performed here twice before. The show lasted roughly an hour and she sang her own songs, as well as a selection from Smokey Robinson, Kanye West’s “Stronger,” and the Nirvana song which made her an ITunes sensation. The crowd laughed with Loebe, but more importantly, they were moved by her voice.
“I just got goosebumps,” said Senior Samantha Ralph mid- performance.
Ralph watched Loebe on The Voice and was excited to hear her perform.
“I thought it was very good. She was very nice and she’s energetic. And she is funny, oh my gosh, she’s so funny. She’s just very pleasant,” said Ralph.
It is unclear which Loebe enjoys more: singing or writing. Before performing her song “Darlin,” she revealed her sense of humor to the crowd.
“If I wrote this song back home in Georgia or Boston where I went to college, it may have been “Darling, what have you done?” But I was barefoot on a back porch in Austin, Texas and it was simply not appropriate to use a g.”