Faye Webster’s-Atlanta Millionaires Club-album review

Faye Webster creates an immaculate, deeply personal album with sonic hypnotic charm.

Faye Webster creates an immaculate, deeply personal album with sonic hypnotic charm.

Heartbreak is universal. The sadness and pain can be deeply felt and isolating when you are still very much in love. It is a normal reaction to question what happened and why the relationship didn’t stay together. In Faye Webster’s latest album, Atlanta Millionaires Club, she  meticulously shares her feelings of a recent lost love and painful heartache for us to examine and critique. It is a valiant, bold move made by a young emerging indie artist. Atlanta Millionaires Club, will release on May 24th, via Secretly Canadian.

If you are wondering why you should listen to another heartbreak album, wonder no more. Atlanta Millionaires Club is immaculate and pure of sound and Webster has formed an undefinable genre. It gently sways from tinges of alt-country, rap, R&B and even pop, to the breezy island vibes of Hawaii. The songs are a soothing sonic exploration while each track is intimately personal, as Faye Webster softly walks us through her anguish. Despite the prevalence of heartbreak songs, Webster’s songwriting is uniquely vulnerable. She whispers self deprecating, witty melancholy, surrounded by a singing wail of steel pedal guitar. These thoughtful combinations produce a profoundly honest, hypnotic charm.

The album dives deep into breakup and heartache as it opens painfully with the lyrics, “Looks like I’ve been crying again over the same thing, I wondered if anyone has ever cried for me”, from the first track, “Room Temperature.” Oddly, the music has the charm of a Hawaiian luau with a splash of a country two step. This contrast is engaging and all at once the album takes hold. The dreamy upbeat track, “Right Side Of My Neck,” gives a hint of where this wild infatuation/love story began. She recalls moments of intimacy with carefully chosen lyrics. Prominent is an electric keyboard giving it a 70’s vibe. Although, the pedal steel continues to enhance every line. “Hurts Me Too,” jumps back into the reflective gloom explaining her need to speak honestly and write songs that are true to how she feels, not just happier songs to please others. With the line, “that day that I said I loved you, you didn’t say it in return, it was the day I realized that silence is actually heard, you can’t help but feel her pain, like a punch to the gut.

Webster’s songwriting began when she was only fourteen years old, and later in high school, she was part of a creative rap group where she could expand her style outside of her own personal songwriting. The collaboration proved formative and it led her to Awful Records and working with an Atlanta rap collective. While recording with them, she discovered her signature vocal style. It developed from quietly singing under her covers at night so she wouldn’t wake her parents and as a result the album is brimming with examples of her engaging whisper-like sultry vocals.

The heart wrencher “Jonny” pleads for answers to her never ending questions. A keyboard and bass lead the song into Webster’s singing sorrow as she asks “did you ever love me?…help me figure it out…do you see what you’re doing?” She stands outside of the shadowy isolated life she depicts when she boldly says his name. The song begins with a simple tapping beat and keyboard and as she questions Jonny in confusion, bright horns, a sax, and lustrous strings are the slow building surround sound. It is a gorgeous tune that continues the theme but stands out in its flourishing musical arrangement and hip nightclub sound. In a diversion from the hopelessness, the woozy track, “Kingston” is a light hearted, gentle love song with a delicate sublime arrangement of pedal steel, keyboard, guitar and horns. Within the song, Webster seems to lose herself completely to love or the idea of its possibility. Changing tempos, “What Used To Be” is a  full on country song. The song looks back at her loss and everything she misses with sentimentality and longing. Rolling drum beats set the tone as the pedal steel whines and sighs. Perhaps this melancholy country ballad gives a nod to her Atlanta southern roots.

The outlier of the album is the track, “Flowers.” It speaks to Webster’s history with Awful Records by featuring rapper and best friend, Father. Her signature vocals are mixed with his rowdy, classic rap style. He provides the inevitable guy’s point of view with, “I don’t like to get caught up in commitments, Let’s just stop asking these hoes for forgiveness, She thinkin’ some unfinished business.” The track provides an odd, unexpected rap presence which may surprise most listeners. I sense it contributes to an emotional shift in the album. Webster becomes stronger and more focused, realizing the relationship is truly over. You can pick up on her inner self developing. Sure enough, she ends the album with the proverbial kiss-off. At this point, she begins to recognize the sadness just isn’t sustainable and finds her power, with the track, “Jonny (Reprise).” It is a spoken song and a candid letter of goodbye.

Coldplay sings a famous line, “stuck in reverse,” a state where you selectively remember only the moments which bring joy and you question every moment which led to a relationship’s demise. For the majority of the album, Webster seems to be placed firmly in her own reverse. As a listener, I fell behind her willingly, reminded of moments in my life where I felt the rejection of the slow painful process of ending love. Her songs offered few metaphors or innuendo. Webster conveyed each track with angelic clarity, making keen relatable observations among lush arrangements. By doing so, she blurred the lines between musical genres to create a sense of timelessness. While listening, I became Webster’s confidant and friend, rooting for her disappointment and pain to ease. Even as Coldplay sings “I will try to fix you,” we all know that is impossible. Maybe for Webster and those listening, it is reflection and soul searching that makes all the difference. Faye Webster is an artist who transforms her imperfections and rejection into her creatively expressed truths, an excellent place to begin.

Faye Webster-Room Temperature




Fab Friday at Savannah Stopover- Review and Photos of Deerhunter and 11 Other Bands You Should Hear #happystopover

Review and Photos of Deerhunter and 11 Other Bands You Should Hear- Savannah Stopover

Just a week ago today….

A good night’s sleep after a day of travel and a night filled with music can completely rejuvenate me. Savannah is such a beautiful welcoming city. The weather was perfect for the entire weekend and each venue was within blocks of each other. After a hardy meal and popping around in local Savannah shops, it was time for the music to begin. I began the evening early at 5pm with Esther Rose at Service Brewing Company. They were a new sponsor to the Festival and provided a wonderful wide open space for sipping and listening.

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Esther Rose

Having Esther Rose begin my Friday festival experience was a nice choice. It helped me ease into the schedule of the many bands on my list to see. For Esther, living in New Orleans influenced her songwriting and some have dubbed it “the happiest saddest music.” She has a way of presenting simple, timeless country songs, with quality. Rose is a songwriter that captures feelings and emotion, peppering them with a good ol’ fiddle. The combo becomes easy listening at it’s best. Favorites of their set were “Jump Down Baby”, “The Money Tree” and I am not sure of the name of the song I captured in my snippet video clip, maybe new music or a cover….but I liked it!

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The Holy Knives

The lead singer for The Holy Knives was dripping with charisma and had a voice that made me stop and take notice. Honestly, I didn’t plan to slow up from my next allotted band, but I couldn’t help it. So, I stepped inside the lovely outdoor courtyard of the Congress Street Social Club to listen. The Holy Knives have a debut album out now, which is sultry rock and roll, Year of the Black Dog. Brothers, Kyle and Kody Valentine, have the perfect combination of one providing nice guitar work, and the other deep brooding baritone vocals. Be sure to check out my short video clip.

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William Tyler

When I was planning my Stopover schedule, I knew this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience. William Tyler’s guitar work echoes quiet thoughts of genius. He can pluck the strings a multitude of times while you simply blink. It is beyond phenomenal to experience live, because you can see the depth of concentration on his face and the sharp angled knuckles on his fingers created by years of practice. I will forever be in awe.

Performing alone, in a small room right beside a hip, upscale bar, he quieted the room. I almost felt cheated if I heard a whisper, or if someone quietly shuffled from the stiffness of sitting on the barren, glossy cement floor. I sat frozen in wonder unable to move. I wanted to simply listen and soak in the moment.

When Tyler would play guitar for a moment, then bend down to work on the loops, it was a mesmerizing interruption. I listened intently, hoping to somehow separate the live guitar with the recorded loops. It proved to be impossible, due to the layers and layers of guitar work and my inability to see the fast plucking of his right hand.

But as you will see in my very short video, both of his hands are in constant motion. His newest album, Goes West, is one for the ultimate guitar lover or a quiet Sunday morning meant for reading and broadly expanding the mind.

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Dead Soft

Dead Soft was another band I accidentally stumbled upon, as I was traveling from venue to venue. I rushed by the outdoor stage, and as I listened, I had to stop. Dead Soft has the power to combine a punk-like rock with a pop sensibility making their music catchy and satisfying, but exposing wonderful, gritty edges. Check out their latest single release, “Porch”.

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DJ Set

Here is the lovely view of the moon sliver shining over the Ships of the Sea outdoor venue. Their gardens are beautiful, even in the very early stages of spring. I am a nature and plant lover, so I notice every statuesque tree and every flowering bush.

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There was a DJ playing a set in the main outdoor area. It was perfect listening for grabbing a drink and dinner from one of the food trucks parked behind the main stage. I was able to grab a quick bite and actually chat with some new found friends.

I loved that I would see some of the same people from venue to venue. We became quite chummy. I almost wish I wasn’t working at times because I would love to get to know them all a little better.

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Case in point is the adorable gal who was wearing the bold mermaid bell bottom pants. I couldn’t help but notice her radiant smile and beaming confidence. I only wish I was able to capture the emerald green color which made them so fun. It was a quick photo, so I missed the opportunity, but had to post the aura of silly happiness! Rock on, Breanna!

I am not sure if any music writers really talk about all of the equipment these bands bring with them when they tour. It is incredible and it hurts my back just to imagine hauling it day in and day out. In my opinion, a band “makes it” when they can afford to hire others to help them with all of their equipment. I always wonder, how do they have the time to explore and develop their music? Blows my mind sometimes.

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While I am on the subject of equipment….holy cow! This is just one tiny area of a complicated do-hicky. It is crazy to think these bands can perform without a hitch. There is so much which can go terribly wrong. Power to the stage builders, the power people, light controllers, the roadies, and the sound engineers.

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Faye Webster

Faye Webster has a lush, silky sound meant for listening and maybe secretly shedding a tear or two. She has the uncanny ability to put modern day relationship woes into sultry soothing alt-country folk-pop. That is a few genres to describe her music, but it is difficult to actually describe. It is meant for listening, experiencing, and finding emotional connections.

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The slide is her thing. Every song seems to have a solo slide performance, or a highlighted choral background. Faye Webster has a new album, Atlanta Millionaire’s Club, out on May 24th. There is no denying her love for Atlanta, with her Atlanta Braves jersey, the tomahawk chop chant as they entered the stage, and her connection to the Atlanta hip hop scene. Makes me Atlanta proud.

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With all of the sweet vocals hinting at serious angst lyrically, it was a happy welcome quirky relief to watch her yo-yo on stage. She proudly declared she learned how to ‘walk the dog’. I never actually saw her accomplish it, but enjoyed watching her brother and bandmate’s face as she made multiple attempts.

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The yard was packed!

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Love this satisfied smile. Faye Webster is a force to be reckoned with and an artist to watch for 2019. She is going to blow things up!

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Loved bumping into a friend of a friend at WUOG (Athens, UGA radio station has a strong pulse on the music of today). Will, the newest music director at WUOG, enjoyed Faye Webster’s set enough to allow me a snap of him with the setlist.

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Deer Hunter

The Atlanta band, Deer Hunter, has been on my radar for many years. So, I can’t explain why I haven’t seen them live. My bad. My bad bad. Known for their experimental, thought provoking heady, psych rock which has an unusual lean into the catchy mainstream, they dominate the indie airwaves with their tunes.

Having them as a headliner at Savannah Stopover sweetened the deal for attending and covering it. Word on the street is they have been asked to visit Stopover for years, it was an impeccable fit. The timing couldn’t be better, so this year it was meant to be. They recently released their newest album, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared. 

Crazily, they make the ultimate musical art out of decay and brokenness. Somehow it works magically, soaking me in, and helping me to lose time and place. Frontman Bradford Cox is the epitome of cool, thoughtful, and arty songwriting talent.

The concert began with trippy sounds and loops manipulated by the band and Cox. We all stood in awe, hushed and listened. Then “Cryptograms”, a retro 80’s jaunty chant, broke out. A 2007 charm which impressed the serious fanatic fans, of which there were many.

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They soared the music to today and played their latest, “Death in Midsummer” to an eager young audience. Pleasing listeners across multiple generations, they began their set with a punch and we were all enthralled.

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Deer Hunter has an incredible lead singer, but the entire band is truly a collective of talent and ingenuity.

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One of my favorite photos of the weekend. I watched him play so solidly, quietly, behind the scenes and a giant speaker. He was almost hidden, but playing and working his craft deftly. Something to behold.

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So for my dear friends and supportive family, I post this one for my other half. The guy in the shadows appreciating everything about my dunking him with crazy music, and his loving help and encouragement. He (the guy with the hat) waits in the shadows listening and letting me be strong and I love him for it.

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Bradford Cox spoke to the attendees about their long tour schedule. They were coming to the end of a pretty grueling one. He spoke about his puppy at home and missing him terribly. Just one of the many things we take for granted. I understand on the Deerhunter rider (the band’s request of little extras) they requested a puppy to hold and pet. When I heard that, my heart grew three sizes that day…..

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Well Wisher

It was a very quick visit to see Well Wisher, but worth the racing around. A punky rock, hip sound that is now….I only have a small clip of their set (“I Know Better”). Just know that her vocals are much stronger in their recorded music. My video is extremely poor quality. Go listen, I highly recommend.

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What an incredible Virginia band and sound. I loved every minute of their set. They have a solid throwback sound catapulted to today. Poppy and Beatlesque they tend to please a crowd with their tunes. So well, that I witnessed a gal fawning on the lead singer so much she was a serious problem. Not pretty….It took multiple people to eventually escort her away. But in the fray, I witnessed a band trying their best, to be their best in a bad situation. They were awesome. Their music is a must listen.

Sun Seeker

Fairly new on the seen, Sun Seeker has a stage show that brings the listeners. Despite being from Nashville, they aren’t country. They are more pop/rock and produce amazing toe tapping worthy tunes. Totally enjoyed their set. Best song of their set is their newest release, “Good Year”. I am totally hoping it is off an album in the works.

 

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Empath

Wishing I had more to welcome you to the ‘surf wave of noise’ that is Empath. They have a fuzzed out, trippy punk sound which is weirdly catchy, but incredibly edgy. They embody a sound you need to hear.

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Pip the Pansy

Pip….I want to say trip. This moment in time made me feel like the world was tripping and not on its axis. Disco/Electronica in genre, she defied any pigeon holing. Purely dance joy and fun, I also witnessed incredible talent.

This gal could handle and sing NYC musicals or even Broadway. More power to her convictions in a struggling world. I only wish more were up late to experience the wildness. She possessed a vocal range which wowed and a performance which made me scratch my head a bit. Did I mention her magic flute?

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I can’t help but share another video of Pip The Pansy. Behind her back she carried a flute in an archer’s pouch. When she pulled it out to play it was a curious fun addition to their unusual show.

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Awwww Lawd, this wild group closed the night and brought the house down. Dancing, singing, jumping, and clapping, I saw it all and relished in a happy closer for the stellar day/evening of music. I knew to rip off any expectations and just experience their talent.

Part skit, mostly music, it was a wild evening moment. Watch and let me know your thoughts.

 

Dance fans also stealing the show.

On my long trek back to the hotel, I walked by the happiest bird. It was 1 am and that sweet bird was singing it’s heart out. Finale music that made my heart sing.

Listen.

 

 

What a day! One more day left to go, and the biggest day of the three…..I am so excited to share my final Stopover experiences. Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Savannah Stopover Fab Friday Band Picks-Deerhunter and 9+… #HappyStopover

Here are my Friday night music picks for Savannah Stopover, plan accordingly or simply listen.

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Here are my Friday night music picks for Savannah Stopover, plan accordingly or simply listen.

Esther Rose

 

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photo cred Akasha Rabut

I am not normally a country music fan, but Esther Rose has a way of presenting simple, old timey country songs, with quality. She is a songwriter that captures feelings and emotion. Easy listening at it’s best.

Esther Rose- Don’t Blame It On The Moon

 

William Tyler

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I am pretty sure that the phenomenal guitarist, William Tyler, will bring a spiritual sense of heaven as he plucks his treasured guitar in Savannah. I am not sure I have anything to compare it to, so I will be happy just to experience it. This Stopover discovery is a keeper for my future playlists and for those moments in my life when I simply need sonic escape to a brighter more beautiful place.

William Tyler- Fail Safe

 

Faye Webster

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A serious crooner, Fay Webster has a lush, silky sound meant for listening and maybe secretly shedding a tear or two. She sings sweetly, immersed in an alt-country pop surround. Her latest, “Kingston”, has her stretching into newer territory with growing confidence. One to watch, for sure.

Faye Webster- Kingston

Deerhunter

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With a prolific catalogue of music, Deerhunter recently released another album, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? The songs are filled with thoughtful prose and curious observations washed in warm and catchy rock and roll. It fills my heart to listen to the edgy growth of a band firing at all cylinders and reflecting what the world gives them. To catch Deerhunter on stage after creating this incredible album, proves to be the coveted ticket of the weekend.

Deerhunter- Death In Midsummer

Well Wisher

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Photo by Okie Dokie Studio

I will be happy to sink into the jangly rock set of Well Wisher.  The joy of Stopover is to dash from one genre to the next. Experiencing their catchy pop rock hooks will be a Friday night joy! Guitar driven and inspired by self reflection, they seem to be riding a nice wave of appreciation for their debut album, This Is Fine. Their songs strike a healthy balance of toe tapping pop and a punk/alt narrative.

Well Wisher- I Know Better

Super Doppler

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A rock band must see from Norfolk VA is Super Doppler, formerly known as Major and The Monbacks. Their songs seem to have broad appeal and hint at many influences of earlier rock and rollers. They will surely pop the roof off, so be sure to have your dancing shoes on.  You’re gonna want to move to their swaying beats.

Super Doppler- I Can Breathe

Empath

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I don’t know much about the band, Empath, but this song is cool and the video is oh so trippy. “Satisfying and terrifying” is the lyric as they are up to their necks in baby dolls and grungy guitar echo. Noise experimenting and a bit of focused chaos may be their inspiration, and that is cool for me.

Empath- Soft Shape

Sun Seeker

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When you’ve been playing with a group over a span of time, beginning in middle school, you are bound to grow and morph into something quite adept. Lots of music under their belt and a fairly recent signing with Third Man Records has this band broadening their loyal following in Nashville. Southern Pop rock with an alt-country leaning, Sun Seeker has a feel good sound that will surely add you to their ever expanding fan base. Listen.

Sun Seeker- Good Year

Little Bird

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Little Bird has a vibe which isn’t describable, it is just a feeling. Their music evokes this reaction which is palpable and infectious. Plan to experience the kind of moment where you want to put on your darkest shades and sway to your heart’s glory, despite the fact it will be midnight! Jam away.

Little Bird- Honey Leak

Pinc Louds

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Honestly, I love that every time I type this band’s name, I get the wonky red dotted line underneath suggesting I have made a typing error. Something about that confirms the creative energy this band has and I expect it to power up at their 12:30 am set. Savannah Stopover once again helps me find a band that makes me weak in the knees for their unique and beautiful sound. This is golden and I will not miss it, no matter how much my dogs are barking (tired feet… for y’all that don’t get it). Seriously, their music has been on repeat since I downloaded the Stopover playlist (see below to follow).

Pinc Louds- Soul In My Body

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Come join the fun!

Tickets still available HERE

More info on Savannah Stopover HERE

Savannah Stopover Playlist