Swallowed by a Circus Heart

Rebecca Loeb is a fresh-faced and breezy songwriter with the voice of a pop star. Her sound ranges from indie Americana to confessional ballads to cabaret-style waltzes — encompassing the quirky whimsy of Regina Spektor, the rootsiness of Patti Griffin and the dry wit of Randy Newman, who is an all-time favorite of the young musician. “I love the way he puts himself into his characters,” Loeb says, “and writes so authentically from so many different voices.”

The Austin, Texas-based musician impressed the judges on TV’s reality music competition The Voice with her performance of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” The TV show “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 have a good excuse not to at least go to the audition.”

Loeb wrote the majority of 2012’s Circus Heart in her downtime on the show. The track “Swallowed by the Sea” directly references the experience. “When I went to the first Voice audition in Austin,” Loeb recalls, “I remember standing in front of the casting directors and describing my lifestyle to them; they were so shocked to hear that I make a living performing songs I write at gigs that I book, drive myself to and perform on my own.  I was equally shocked that those professionals seemed unaware that there are thousands of people making a living this way! I went home and started to write a song for them.”

Rebecca Loeb performs with Ellis Paul 8 pm Saturday, May 4, at Cozmic; $16.50 adv., $18 door.