Music and Friends

The Nobody’s Girl trio consists of three hard working musicians who enjoy each others music and play country, folk and pop music when they have performed together. The Austin trio, Betty Soo, Rebecca Loebe and Grace Pettis have joined up to play good music with verve. The trios’ upcoming release Nobody’s Girl will be released this summer. In this interview artist Grace Pettis talks about the trio and their musical future in a time of vast change.

Jupiter Index: Tell us about the new release? How did you come up with the title for it?
Grace Pettis: We kicked around a lot of ideas for album titles. But in the end, it felt right to go with a self-titled record. This is our debut full-length album and it's really an introduction to our sound and story.

JI: Talk about how you three decided on the songs for the CD, and what was that process like?
GP: It's actually really difficult for us to find time to schedule co-writes. We all tour solo about half the year and have various other side projects. So we're not often in the same place at the same time, unless we're on the road together or recording. When we can block a few precious days per month in Austin, we use that time for business meetings too. So it's tough to find time to write. But we really made it a priority in 2019. Every chance we got, we carved out writing days. And luckily, we loved and finished almost every song we started. There are a couple that are still cooking in the oven. But we ended up recording almost everything we'd written last year. The next step, once we had that core batch of songs, was to decide on a few tracks from our first EP, Waterline, that we wanted to remix and include plus a couple special covers. We knew from the start we wanted to reintroduce a few tracks from Waterline, to give those songs a chance to really be heard with the rest of our debut album.

JI: The group does a cover of the iconic-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson’s “Beauty Way.” What was it that drew the band to play that song? (What made it special?)
GP: The idea to cut "Beauty Way" came to BettySoo in a dream. She texted us about it and it just felt right to all three of us immediately. "Beauty Way" is about the artist's path. It's a vocation that's complicated; it feels noble and selfish, rewarding and detrimental, all at the same time. And the journey is long. "Beauty Way" captures that complexity perfectly and intimately. It's a masterful song. We all feel very connected to it.

JI: You have been through a lot in the music world. But no one was prepared for the pandemic. What’s next for the band? Will you do more radio or try to still perform later this year?
GP: It's really hard to say what the next few months will be like. We've cancelled all our SXSW showcases, obviously. And April is likely off the table for any touring. After that? I don't think anybody really knows. We've got an album coming out this summer. We'd like to play some release shows if we can. But we won't if there's too much risk to our audience. We don't want to be a part of the problem. I've been driving myself crazy with wondering what my job and life will look like in the next few months. Will shows go on with strictly enforced attendance caps (i.e. turning people away after the first 30 people, etc.)? Will all gatherings of more than a couple people be out of the question? Will we all be webcasting all our shows? Or maybe people will just be playing shows within a few miles of their homes, to stop the spread of the virus that way. Who knows? I don't think I'm alone among my musician friends with obsessing over these possibilities. It makes it difficult to plan for the future, which means it's difficult to book tours. Which means none of us know if we'll be employed in a year.
Maybe I'll be an Uber driver again. But the band will stay together. We live in the same town, which is a huge advantage. Whatever happens, we'll be writing songs and playing together. As to whether any of us will be able to continue making a living as working musicians? That remains to be seen.

JI: What would you like people to know about the trio and the music?
GP: We're really proud of the songs we've written together and this record we've made. We have all given Nobody's Girl our very best and I think it shows. And Nobody's Girl has grown into its own identity over the past few years. Our band shows are very different from our solo shows now, and our solo records don't sound anything like this one we're about to put out as a band. We've finally written enough songs together that we'll be able to perform an entire show of only co-written material. We think that's pretty cool. Our music is all about the power of collaboration and connection. In this current climate of division and competition, we want to send out the message that when we come together, we're stronger and better for it. We think that's a needed reminder, especially in an age of self-isolation and quarantine. We may not be able to be physically close, but the connections we have with each other are vital. We will get through this pandemic and this next election cycle too by supporting each other and by remembering what brings us together, in the face of everything that separates us.

by G.M. Burns