Named after a classic Bonnie Raitt tune, this Austin super trio continue their ascension on beguiling second LP
In an era where supergroups don’t seem to carry the same cache they once did, Nobody’s Girl show that subtlety and finesse can override the hype and ballyhoo that once surrounded such set-ups.
Consequently, three years after their impressive debut, Waterline, their eponymous sophomore set added anticipation when its was delayed due to the pandemic. Over a year later, it finally makes its bow and the enthusiasm that went into the effort remains undiminished. Their’s is a cohesive connection that continues to find their grouping a decidedly viable proposition. That’s not to be taken lightly, given that all three women — Grace Pettis, BettySoo and Rebecca Loebe — are each established songwriters, each on their own.
“We’ve all got a lot of respect for each other’s vocal style and songwriting ability, but I think that our personalities are really compatible,” Loebe explains “We all have a tendency of balancing our concern for the big picture, the state of the world, and the plight of humanity with really, really stupid jokes.”
Having known one another for over a decade, Loebe says their grouping came about after sharing the idea of joining forces for a songwriter-in-the-round tour. “Some friends of Grace’s invited us to spend the night at their recording studio for a writing retreat outside of town, so we went for it and ended up writing three songs together in less than 24 hours,” she recalls. “When we played the songs for the studio owners, they offered us a record deal. It turns out they were starting a record label and wanted us to be one of their first artists.”
Despite the seemingly spontaneous circumstances, the name that was chosen was decidedly deliberate and carefully considered.
“We were looking through literature and song titles for inspiration,” Loebe continues. “The Bonnie Raitt song ‘Nobody’s Girl’ jumped out at us.”
Similar in stance to another famous female group, I’m With Her, Nobody’s Girl manages to merge an assertive stance with a decidedly upbeat approach. “What’ll I Do,” “Beauty Way,” “Kansas” and “Waterline” are unquestionably effusive, flush with a decided determination and a solid stance. Loebe says that the idea was to focus on songs that all three of them hand a hand in composing.
“Since we all tour as solo artists in addition to Nobody’s Girl, it was really hard to schedule times when we could all be together in the same room, but we spent almost a full year getting together every time we were all three home in Austin,” she explains in retrospect. “By the end of that year, we had finished a collection of songs that we were all really excited about, and those all made it onto the record.
That said, a faithful cover of Carole King’s “So Far Away” rounds out the set list, providing a retro fit with their contemporary compositions.
“We are all huge Carole King fans,” Loebe notes when asked about the choice to include it as a sole non-original offering. “We thought it would be fun to record a cover from Tapestry, as that album was coming up on its 50th birthday. Of course, we had no idea when we recorded ‘So Far Away’ how relevant it would feel when it was released in the middle of winter last year.
She’s referring of course to the isolation wrought by the pandemic and the subsequent forced lockdown. While that scenario is hopefully fading into the rearview mirror, Loebe says that further prospects for Nobody’s Girl are very much a possibility.
“We’re all committed to balancing the band with our solo projects and seeing where things go,” she says. Given what they’ve managed to accomplish so far, there’s little doubt that their followers will be watching as well.