Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Image: Faye Webster’s “Underdressed at the Symphony” Album Cover

If there’s anything Faye Webster does in her newest album, she notices. She dives deep into herself to create a conglomeration of post-heartbreak turmoil. “Underdressed at the Symphony” (2024), the 26-year-old singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album, follows a recent breakup full of reserved yearning packaged for teens everywhere. The Atlanta native steps outside the box while sticking to her crooning classics in her newest release.

The album’s cover art encapsulates its overall feeling — the shy afterthought that you get when you do something as simple as picking out clothes. Nonchalant, she tells us what’s been going on since we last talked.

It’s difficult to put Webster in a box; she lives life to no genre — something that she emphasizes in her newest collection. She has been in the music scene since she was 16, and if there’s one element that has stayed true since then, it’s her Atlanta twang. Her voice wouldn’t be the same on a track without her steel guitar, a staple in this album. This instrument shines through on the track “Wanna Quit All The Time,” and can be heard in the background of many of her popular songs.

Webster opens the album with a bright ballad titled “Thinking About You”, which is everything I desire in an opening track — it’s simple and sets the tone for what’s to come. It’s classic Faye Webster, drawing her fans into the symphony. This song is followed by “But Not Kiss,” an arguable diss track that was released months before the album was released. She sings, “I want to sleep in your arms, but not kiss,” broken up with a startling guitar addition. This song is where the walls come down. Her genre remains undefined in the sweeping rock track and the complexity of the album introduces itself.

“Lego Ring” is the unlikely collaboration of your dreams. Webster recruited Lil Yachty for this track —  a close friend from her childhood. Yachty recently came into headlines with his recent album, “Let’s Start Here,” a change of tune from his usual rap sound that now sounds like a Pink Floyd album rebirthed in the 2020s. His new influences carry over to “Lego Ring, where his warbling accompaniment to Webster’s breathy tone creates the “dream team.” Though nonsensical content-wise, the track is fun and refreshing.

In contrast to her previous releases, this album feels different in terms of overall sound. It feels like she broke free from the studio walls — like I am sitting in a living room with her listening to her talk about her love life. In the one-and-a-half-minute-long track, “Feeling Good Today,” she whispers the rundown on her life to me: “I’m feeling good today / I ate before noon / I think that’s pretty good for me.” She tells me how she feels about the color of her house, how her brother is doing and her new hobbies. By the end of the album, I feel like I know every corner of her life.

Her songs are sad, she’s yearning and her lyrics are on trend. Faye Webster is the epitome of Generation Z indie pop music. “eBay Purchase History” and “He Loves Me Yeah!” reel in her young audience from the jump and leave them wanting to hear about her niche experiences. She says exactly what she feels, and why shouldn’t she? “But I’ll keep my anonymity hid / I just learned that word, I thought that I’d use it.”

The title track is one of my favorites off the album; it’s everything I could have ever wanted and one of my favorites off the release. In “Underdressed at the Symphony,” her voice intersects with a thrashing orchestra when she mentions the title of her album, wrapping together the straightforwardness of her songwriting and tying a nice bow around her work.

Overall, this is Faye Webster at her best. Reminiscent of her past work, “Underdressed at The Symphony” is a strong sound from the indie pop artist. Although Webster is ten years deep into her career, it feels like she’s just getting herself comfortable and has so much more to give to us.

 


Olivia Karczewski is a second-year Media & Culture major with a minor in Journalism. OK992873@wcupa.edu

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