Music

Siren Songs: Nobody's Girl Releases First Full Length Album

Siren Songs: Nobody's Girl Releases First Full Length Album
Photo By Valerie Fremin
In Greek mythology, the singing sirens would lure sailors to their sad fate with their sweet voices. Though Austin-based trio Nobody’s Girl could easily qualify as having alluring and mesmerizing vocals, their intentions for audiences are much less sinister.

Nobody’s Girl was formed in 2017 by BettySoo, Grace Pettis and Rebecca Loebe and the trio released their EP Waterline the following year. They recently released their first full length, self titled album on Lucky Hound Music.

“We were recording in 2019 and at the very top of 2020 and we just have been writing together in between our tours,” says BettySoo. “We just had such killer players and team in the studio that things were able to happen really quickly. It was just so much fun making the record.”

Like many artists, the band was ready to get back out in front of audiences but with the rapid rise of COVID cases surging due to the Delta variant, Nobody’s Girl has cancelled a majority of their upcoming live performances, including their previously scheduled Houston stop.

“Singing is a dangerous activity for this disease and we certainly don't want to be a vector for infection for people,” says BettySoo.

Despite canceling most of their shows, Nobody’s Girl has plenty to celebrate with their album. Nobody’s Girl shows off what this trio does best: weave rich stories with their perfectly harmonized voices.

They tapped their trusted producer Michael Ramos, who BettySoo credits with getting the ladies some heavy hitters in the recording studio, including guitarist David Grissom.

“It’s almost embarrassing how amazing the band was. We did know a lot of them but I'll be honest, our producer is so incredible and has been an A list player himself for so long that we lucked out because when he calls people they pick up the phone and they say yes.”

All three women are a huge part of the Austin music community and can frequently be seen cheering on not only each other, but their Americana and roots music peers. In a genre that can seem dominated by men, it is refreshing to see three strong women working together and lifting each other up.

“I think the Austin music community is generally supportive of one another but there is a special bond for a lot of us women in the scene. We are really there for each other and it's not like we're this bitter community, we are just actually truly fans of each other and love to work together. Our friendship is very real and deep and we all just feel glad to not be alone on this journey.”

“I think the Austin music community is generally supportive of one another but there is a special bond for a lot of us women in the scene."

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The songs on the album are less folk and more pop than each artist's solo work as the project allows each of them a more playful way to explore new sounds with the support of one another.

“Whenever you're young, most people, not everybody, tend to like the pop music of just their youth and we just love that. In this group all three of us get to venture more into our love for pop than we do generally in our solo stuff and I think there's something to be said for when there's three of you all deciding that something is okay. You can feel a little bit more freedom and permission in it.”
“Tiger” is a lovely example of how Nobody’s Girl manages to mix in the feminine perspective with a rock and pop edge alongside catchy lyrics culminating into an empowering anthem. The level of kinship and camaraderie is undeniable not only in the band’s writing but their ability to perfectly blend their vocals, at times making it difficult to differentiate between who is singing which verse.

All three band members met at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 2008 and all three have been recipients of the award for New Folk Competition in various years. They maintained their friendship playing together in Austin and going on tour together for the Sirens Of South Austin Tour.

BettySoo describes how the trio thought it would be a good idea to write a song together while on tour and make it part of the nightly performances, giving audiences a special moment during the shows.

They decided to make a real go at it and Loebe suggested they go to Studios at Fischer, home of Lucky Hound Music, for a weekend where they could focus on writing together.  When the three were saying their goodbyes, they decided to show their appreciation to the owners by singing them their freshly written tracks.  Following their intimate performance, they were immediately offered a record deal.

“We had not even played one show together, it was totally crazy but so much fun and we've been so grateful for them. They have this incredible studio facility and just had open doors for us to go in there and work.”

For Nobody’s Girl, writing together continues to be a full body experience which they have not done remotely.

“Our process together is such a special thing. We set aside a whole day to be together. We set up tea and snacks. We make it almost like a little mini retreat and then we tend to spend the first hour or two talking and catching up and checking in with each other to see what's going on in our lives.”

“All of our songs have been birthed out of those conversations. It's such a unique process and it comes out of these really connected conversations that's just so different from sitting down by yourself to write something. A line that you might think is fine has to be approved by two other people and sometimes we get pretty heated and have to duke it out over the direction of the song but in the end I think we all feel pretty glad for the process and how intense it is.”

Nobody's Girl is available for purchase and streaming now on Lucky Hound Music.
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.
Contact: Gladys Fuentes