If anyone would have authentic insight to never ending exposure and its subsequent impact on a person’s day to day routine, Rebecca Loebe would. An indie folk songwriter whose career at some points was entirely steered by the power of competitive popularity, it’s refreshing to see the hard working tour veteran write a song that promotes letting go of the anxiety and negative thinking that can creep up when living that kind of vulnerable life.
Premiering today on American Songwriter, that’s exactly what this version of her single, “Popular,” aims to express – even from the song’s very opening line.
No one feels cool
No one feels popular
No one’s a loser
Though everybody thought they were
“This was one of those rare experiences when the very first words that came out of my mouth ended up being the final lyric. I hummed this to myself over and over for months, thinking ‘Oh, I’ll replace that part once I come up with The Real Lyric…’ Then I realized, I was saying exactly what I meant: we pretty much all look back at middle school and feel like we were total losers but we weren’t.” Loebe says.
“How could we have been?” she continues, “We were sweet babies, nothing but potential. And what does that say about how we see ourselves now? We look up to people who probably also wake up some days feeling totally lame.”
While the lyrics of “Popular” speak to this mindset well enough on their own, Loebe recording a rendition of the song “Live at Home,” only further illuminates its embrace of being different and-or not worrying about keeping up with the Joneses.
“This video was shot at my house in Austin in the converted garage where I rehearse with my band,” she said. “I love singing while Katie Marie plays drums and Gary Newcomb does things with the pedal steel that I didn’t know were possible.”
Seen performing in a space full of knick knacks, assorted colors, and with the feel of lived-in warmth similar to the office of a certain Tiny Desk, the video upholds its self-assured intentions in all ways – not just through the music. This combination of refined artistic direction also gives Loebe’s performance a heightened sense of relatable familiarity. After all, who doesn’t have a space in their home that’s full of personal touches and old memories, to where one can retreat to feel comfortable and loved?
“It’s so easy to get stuck in this trap of talking badly to ourselves while comparing our reality to other people’s public personas.” says Loebe. “It just makes me want to give everyone on this planet a giant hug, which is basically what I’m trying to do with [Popular.]”
Watch “Popular: Live at Home” below and look for Loebe on tour throughout 2020:
March 6 – Auburn, AL – Sundilla Concert Series
March 7 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
March 8 – Asheville, NC – Isis Music Hall
April 1 – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Door
April 2 – Dallas, TX – Poor David’s
April 3 – Houston, TX – McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
April 4 – Austin, TX – Cactus Cafe
April 15 – London, UK – Green Note
April 16 – Launceston, UK – No 8 Cafe
April 17 – Exeter, UK – St. Matthews Hall
April 18 – Wiveliscombe, UK – Cotleigh Brewery
April 19 – Shrewsbury, UK – The Hive
April 21 – Kings Heath, Birmingham, UK – Kitchen Garden
April 22 – Leicester, UK – The Musician
April 23 – Tewkesbury, UK – Old Baptist Chapel
April 24 – Sheffield, UK – Cafe #9
May 15 – Somerville, MA – The Burren
May 17 – N. Andover, MA – The Monaplex
June 17 – Spring Lake, MI – Seven Steps Up
June 18 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark