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.
The newest for me this year has been Erika de Casier. It’s funny, because my manager sent me her record and was like, “You’d really like this,” and I listened to it and I was like, “Dang, I really like this!” Then my boyfriend got really mad at me, because apparently he tried to show me her before and I did not have the same response.
Maybe that just wasn’t a good time for me to listen to new music. I definitely go through phases where I don’t even listen to music. I feel like when I tour a lot, it just feels overdone to me — especially when I’m just around the house, I’d rather be in silence.
But she’s great. It feels like generally what I would do if I made those songs. Especially just the recording process — it feels very intimate, which I enjoy, just recording-your-own-vocals-at-your-house type beat. So I think I just relate to how intimate it makes you feel listening to it.
I’ve been listening to her album Essentials, which came out in 2019, but she did put out a new album this year. My favorite song is “Puppy Love.” It’s very recreated old school R&B. She’ll use a lot of sound samples that would be so cheesy if someone else used them. It’s definitely ‘90s inspired.
I didn’t connect so instantly to the music before, but off the first listen this time I was. I feel like it was just supposed to be that way. Maybe it’s just the time I’m in in my life — I think I just extra relate to these love songs right now.
As told to Annie Fell.
(Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana)