We read a few tweets from fans to Atlanta singer-songwriter Faye Webster for her impressions.
“Can’t hear you over being a little listening to Faye Webster,” elicited a laugh from her. Another proclaimed, “Faye Webster heals my wounds,” and a third suggested “Faye Webster could hit me with a baseball bat, and I would thank her.”
“I like that if you read them and then listened to my music, you would be like ‘What the hell? It’s just so quiet,'” said Webster, who is currently scheduled to play a sold-out show in White Oak Music Hall on February 5th. “Of course I feel so normal because I’m myself, but I’m such a normal person. So it’s cool to see that this super calm, normal music can make people feel that way.”
Webster’s “quiet” music makes the listeners feel somehow, for sure. Her album from 2021 I know I’m funny haha was included on “best of” lists by NPR, New Yorkersthat Los Angeles Times, Uproxx and many other music stores. The critics’ praise centers on authentic and introspective songs presented at a deliberate pace, allowing listeners to soak it all in, as one can spend moments looking at and considering the many nuances of a fine piece of visual art.
While chatting with Webster over the phone, it’s clear that her art comes from all sorts of influences, including a few we’ve already noted here. Visual art, especially photography. The city she grew up in and still calls home. Even baseball – sorry Astros fans, she’s a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan. Wherever she takes her cues, she shapes them into songs that take their time and force you to slow down and listen a little.
“I feel like with music in general, I always lower things because I really want to focus on what I do. Even when I cover songs, or when I just play my songs live, I naturally lower it that much. I think a lot of it just reflects me and my personality. I feel like I’m always myself, no matter what situation you put me in, even when I’m like an outcast. I think it’s just who I am and everything I know I have to do, ”she said.
“I grew up listening to Alison Krauss a lot, and I feel like she’s really influenced me. I think when she sings, it’s like she’s almost talking, it’s just this very lubricated, very soft tone. “I think so. And I really like that style,” she added. I like to do and I have something to say, but it’s definitely just me. ” I like that you can get so much personality out of it. ”
Webster taught himself guitar as a schoolboy and released his debut album as a 16-year-old. Her family includes bluegrass and country musicians, but when you listen to the new album, you capture a soulful mood to the songs, and it all gives a really eclectic take on the roots music. In particular, the new album sounds like the soundtrack to a clear afternoon country tour, but also the mood setter for a lukewarm, quiet stormy night.
“I feel like my music, what I write, and how it ends up sounding, are just pieces of so many things that have inspired me,” she said. “I really like R&B music, I really like folk music, and I feel like in a way I take what I’m really inspired by, and subconsciously, that’s how it ends for me in my music.
“A lot of it is just growing up in Atlanta,” she continued. “I’m still here and I love the city, I love how diverse it is and how many creative there are here of all sorts of different media. That is all. Obviously, if I was growing up somewhere else, I would not be making this music. Maybe I would never have started listening to folk music with my parents, I do not know. I feel like it’s such a distinctive thing.
“I think I’m so easily inspired,” she laughs. “I hope my music does the same for other people.”
Webster’s ability to express herself in a way that feels completely comfortable to her could be a lesson taken from her work as a recognized and coveted photographer. She has shot campaigns for rappers Killer Mike and Offset and worked with brands like Nike. Framing the image, she searches for the essence of her motif, which is the same thing she does as a songwriter.
“I have always appreciated photos, photography or even when it comes to my album wrapping and merch and stuff like that. Music videos are also a big part of that, ”she said. “I want a picture that will really help represent the song. I think photography and really getting into it helps me express my music when it comes to things where they cross each other. ”
We congratulate her and her hometown baseball team too late (and reluctantly) on their new World Series title. Webster’s favorite team in her favorite sport won the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic in October. She had a bit of a personal effort in watching the Braves win it all. The new album features the track “A Dream With A Baseball Player”, which was inspired by Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. The song led to an ESPN article about it and a meeting between Webster and her favorite Braves player.
It does not go unnoticed that baseball is also a sport that takes its time. All the innings unfolding at a leisurely pace, the story of the game told pitch by pitch by pitch. It must also have influenced her work as an artist.
“Like I said, Atlanta is such a big part of my character, and so is the Braves. When I was growing up, I just sat down to so many Braves games, as if it’s been such a tradition for me. Outside the Braves “I can not tell you anything about any other team. It’s like this passion for my hometown and this thing I grew up going to.”
The fans who will greet her at her Houston show may not care about baseball, but they will share some of the emotions her music has aroused in them, the kind of fans who tweet about spreading the gospel of Faye Webster. That audience is a big part of why she creates music at all, she said, and is the most critical element of being on tour.
“I love touring the moment I get to play a show,” she said. “Turing is really hard. There are some things I really love about it that I love seeing people who relate to my songs, I don’t get to see that from home. But there are some things that are really hard just mentally , which I always struggle with no matter what.It’s definitely something where I would go crazy if I could not tour, I would be so sorry.I think I have to physically see that my music does “something for this person so that I can keep making music. And I think if I did not tour, I could not have it.”
Faye Webster, Saturday, February 5, 2022 at White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main. With Kate Bollinger. Doors at 8pm for this show in the White Oak showcase upstairs. Out of stock.