Indie Music

Faye Webster: Underdressed at the Symphony review – petal-voiced power

Thanks to her keen eye, Atlanta singer-songwriter Faye Webster first made waves as a hip-hop photographer. Being school buddies with local rap luminaries helped too. The petal-voiced Webster is now five albums into a body of delicate, powerful work that always captures more than first appears. This album’s pithy trailer, But Not Kiss, describes a stymied relationship with someone out of reach. Alongside Webster’s wounded, barely-there vocal, the song’s multiple tempos bear witness to the stop-start of the pair’s commitment levels.

Often, on songs such as He Loves Me Yeah!, a base-level indie chug establishes Webster’s output somewhere familiar. You might file her body of work under 70s-tinged alt-country. But Webster’s subtle accessorising – her eclectic production choices, like Feeling Good Today’s Auto-Tuned multitracking – always render these miniatures next-level. No less a lead guitarist than Wilco’s jazz-trained Nels Cline is often on hand to lay plangent classiness atop her tunes. The album’s title reflects Webster’s habit of going to classical concerts at the last minute to assuage heartbreak; a flurry of orchestral strings appears and disappears almost immediately. Most fun of all is when schoolfriend Lil Yachty guests on Lego Ring, where the pair’s harmonies are woozily Auto-Tuned.

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