Faye Webster - Faye Webster

by Nathan Fidler Rating:9 Release Date:2017-05-12

To look at the album cover, along with the label which Faye Webster’s self titled release is coming from (Awful Records), you’d have to put your money on this being some sort of weird, hip-hop, R’n’B soulstress artist. You might be surprised then, to learn that Faye Webster is a folk singer-songwriter.

While you might read that she infuses her music with R’n’B, that’s a bit of a stretch. She does belong to the Atlanta crowd, with many of her friends on the Awful Records label, so it makes sense that lead single ‘She Won’t Go Away’ is slightly soulful and slinky, but you’d be better off describing her as a hip folkster - in a good way of course.

Where Run and Tell felt like it might be a little too traditional, Webster lends a healthy dose of modernity to her self-titled album. There is the faint waft of insecurity on ‘It’s Not A Sad Thing’ where she questions “I wonder if the flight attendant is prettier than me”, and the unrequited love described on ‘What’s The Point’.

Of course, Faye Webster is much younger than most, so there is a sweetness to all any and all sadness. ‘Remember When’ holds a litany of easy memories of a better time in a relationship, but the way she describes which makes you feel like, despite the loss, there are memories to savour still.

Simple guitar strumming, overlaid with a fiddle, steel pedal guitar or peppy bassline add to the Americana aesthetic of sound, with Webster’s softly rounded words creating an innocence for it all. Songs might feel repetitious in place, relying heavily on sweet, melodic choruses, but this is not an album which complicates things. She shares an affinity with Andy Shauf in this sense, laying out the feeling with few words, albeit with more direction taken from the train-like whining of steel pedal guitar.

If she’s inherited anything from her label-mates and friends, it’s a relaxed approach to doing what comes most naturally to her. “I’ve seen my mother in pain, begging for her mom to remember her name”, is the kind of insightful lyric you can expect, revealing an artist who might just be capable of making American folk and country more likeable.

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