Faye Webster’s second full-length 2019 album Atlanta Millionaires Club is a case-study in duality. The instrumentation (a heart-rending mix of pedal-steel, guitars and strings) recalls the country-folk of her musical upbringing but listen deeper and you’ll discover a soulful undertone to her vocal delivery, a spare groove laid down by her rhythm section; a subtle and elegant genre-bending which just happens to make her one of the most compelling young songwriters in music today.
The near-whisper of Webster’s voice feels like the embodiment of the maxim “speak softly and they’ll listen harder.” Singles “Kingston,” “Right Side Of My Neck” and “Flowers” (a brilliant collaboration with Atlanta rapper and Awful Records label-boss Father) are highlights on an album which has landed on multiple end-of-year best-ofs.
Webster’s talent doesn’t lie solely in music, her collection of portraits documenting the Atlanta hip hop scene are near-iconic and have made her a much in-demand photographer. She is also the proud owner of a line of signature yoyos, a hobby-turned obsession she picked up on the road after a new drummer turned out to have a side-hustle as a yoyo professional.
My favorite artist of the year is this girl Hannah Cohen. She just put out an album called Welcome Home. I heard about her because we were looking for openers on my tour and somebody suggested her — I normally don’t listen to music when people send it to me, honestly, but I listened to it. I didn’t know her, but I heard it on tour in June, and still to this day it’s my top listened-to album. And I still haven’t met her, but we talk a lot — I tried to get her to do both of my tours this year, but she was on tour with other people.
The instrumentation is really unique to me. Listening to some of her other records, she has a very poppy voice, but this record was almost like Andy Shauf-arranged. It was very rare, to me. My favorite song is called “Get In Line.” I like it because my brain couldn’t have thought of that. If I had written that song, no way my recording would sound the same.
I always get kind of a nostalgia feeling listening to something, being taken back to a certain time or place or sense of smell even, and I think the album does that to me still. It’s so current.
As told to Annie Fell.