Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Album Review : “Circus Heart” by Rebecca Loebe

Rebecca_4PAN1TSPBCircus Heart
  • Original Release Date: September 18, 2012 Label: Rebecca Loebe Copyright: 2012 Rebecca Loebe
  • Total Length: 37:45

For the past four years, Atlanta-raised, Austin-based “post-brontosaurus, indie folk/crunk” singer-songwriter Rebecca Loebe  has been getting the most for her road tax dollars, averaging 200 shows per year in over 35 states.

For a few years, home was on the road. "Whether or not I have an apartment is irrelevant, because even if I have one I never see it. Eventually, paying rent for a room to keep my stuff in starts to seem like a waste of money, when I'm on the road fighting for every dollar."

It was those long hours on the road that served as inspiration for many of the songs on Loebe's newest release Circus Heart , an album that mixes some marvelous and joyous pop with intimate folk. It was while on the road that she received an email about a new reality singing competition. It would become NBC's hit reality program The Voice.

"It didn't really sound like my kind of thing," she says, "but then again I happened to be home that weekend so I didn't really have a good excuse not to at least go to the audition."

And so Loebe became one of the first contestants to perform for the panel of celebrity coaches. Her decision to re-interpret Nirvana's classic grunge anthem "Come As You Are," into a moody ballad also made her the first contestant on the show to re-arrange rather than merely cover a song. This approach inspired both Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera to offer her mentorship. In the end, she chose Team Adam. She also became an early fan-favorite, ultimately selling over 35,000 downloads of the two songs she performed on the show and charting on iTunes in the US, Europe and South America.

Rebecca Loebe “Circus Heart”

It was during this respite from the highways and byways that she had time to write many of the tunes on Circus Heart. Funded by her fans, who had helped her release Mystery Heart in 2010, and inspired by her success on the show she wanted to push the envelope a little sonically and experiment with some sounds that I hadn't used before." To help tap into this new sound, Loebe called in Matt Sever, AKA Matt The Electrician, an Austin-based
singer/songwriter who tours all over the world.

"I was thrilled when he agreed to produce this record -- this is the first album he has produced that is not one of his own, and it's the first album I have recorded outside of my comfort zone in Atlanta. We were a perfect fit."

Loebe performs most of the instruments on the album but it  also features several guest performances including percussionist Dony Wynn, who has recorded and toured in the past with Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle and Brooks & Dunn, and was recently spotted onstage with Robert Plant. Lex Land, another alumna of The Voice, harmonizes on the haunting afterlife ballad "Georgia" and Loebe's frequent tour partner Raina Rose offers lead guitar and vocal harmonies on the travel ballad "Vagabond Prayer," which closes the record.

The album is filled with folk, pop, Americana with a good dose of indie songs that are at once whimsical, endearing and thoughtful. With the exposure garnered from the show and the new album in the can, you’d think she’d pause an take a deep breath. maybe even find an apartment. But she is now back out on the road promoting the album with a tour. She started out in Maryland on August 2nd and has hit Nashville, Louisiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Austin, TX, California and has just left Reno, NV on the 25th. She’ll be in Carbondale, CO on the 29th, then in Ohio before taking new York by storm. check her website for show dates and venues. While you’re at it, pickup or download the album.


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Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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