Faye Webster - Atlanta Millionaires Club
Faye Webster drops her third studio album at the impressively young age of 21. While early on trying to make her name as a country-folk songstress, Webster has come to reject typical delineations of genre and what’s appropriate in country music. An avid fan and collaborator with her local Atlanta hip-hop community, she fully embraces these influences and incorporates them in a totally convincing, non-tacky package. On Atlanta Millionaires Club, she has fully discovered what the identity of a Faye Webster song is, one that while comfortably existing in the twee-folk world, can stimulate and groove like the best RnB.
Faye sings with a gentile, whispery voice. Her apathetic tone channels the best slacker rock stars of the 90s (Guided by Voices, Pavement, Silver Jews). While there is a brittle honesty present in Webster’s songwriting, she presents it in layers of self-deprecating wit. Webster’s wry delivery features prominently on the opening “Room Temperature.” With its sun-tinted country twang, she ruminates about sudden loneliness and transitioning into adulthood. “Looks like I've been crying again over the same thing; I wonder if anyone has ever cried for me,” she mourns.
“Pigeon” a warm indie-rocker with bright slide-guitar hits the perfect balance of texture, sparse and intimate while filling in the empty spaces with lush instrumentation. She tells a tongue-in-cheek tale about a long-distance relationship with a boyfriend in Australia. The creeping verses lead into crystalline vocal harmonies on the chorus. “Jonny” is a clever break-up tune that captures the existential dread that comes with it. “…get over how my dog is my best friend. And he doesn't even know what my name is.” Her humor shines through even at her most downtrodden moments.
The true highlight of the record is “Kingston,” the best example of her ability to blend sultry RnB with the rootsiness of country music. The pedal steel guitar has an all inviting warmth to it, while the sultry chorus sways with delicacy. Soulful sax and organ give this song its unique flavor. With her ultra-light vocals, she delivers the devastating line “I think that tonight I'll leave my light on 'Cause I get lonely when it's out and I miss you right about now.”
Country and rap don’t usually mix well. But with its dreamy quality, “Flowers” leaves a suitable nest for Atlanta MC Father’s relaxed flow.
Not every song on Atlanta Millionaires Club is as exciting as the next. However, with its misses, the album is only 31 minutes, hardly overstaying its welcome. The highs outshine the lows for a perfectly pleasant and enjoyable record for the young genre agnostic. Faye Webster provides a blueprint for artists interested in the cross-pollination of historically alien musical cultures.