Faye Webster – I Know I’m Funny haha

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Hot, sweltering sidewalks, glasses of lemonade dripping in condensation, faint echoes of birds singing—it’s a summertime moodboard complemented best with Faye Webster’s fourth album, I Know I’m Funny haha. There’s a faint, old timey quality to it, enhanced by Webster’s love of pedal steel guitar, that brings to mind Palm Springs and poolside bingo. The album carries a relaxed, no-need-to-hurry-up-and-get-there tone, instead finding Webster savoring the present. On “In a Good Way,” Webster relishes in the afterglow of her first happy cry in a long time. But beyond the smoothness of her slower, western-inspired R&B style, this album shows off the Atlanta singer/songwriter’s experimental side. A song like “Cheers” meets Webster at her musically heaviest, a fun step into her grungier tendencies. 

There’s an intimacy to Webster’s second album I Know I’m Funny haha that shines through. On each track, the instrumental layering is minimal, giving clarity to every twang and strum of the sole guitar, every beat of the subdued drums. Especially on a slower ballad like “Sometimes,” the instrumentals are so intentional and careful, it gives the impression of being right there in the studio, hearing it all come together in one take. Webster’s vocals carry an ethereal, mellowed tone throughout, soft and velvety, a constant soother. The delicate quality each song carries is heightened by the simplicity of the arrangements, creating a breezy record primed for warm weather lounging.

While her last album, Atlanta Millionaires Club, employed the same genre-bending trademarks, like following up a song heavy on twang with a rap feature, this album finds her in a more upbeat state of mind. Atlanta reflected on desires for the future, unrequited loves, and finding friendship in your dog. I Know I’m Funny haha finds Webster examining where she is in the moment, and it’s better than her past album self could have expected. Album closer “Half of Me” explores being home alone, with yourself, and with nothing to do. On paper, it might sound dismal, but it finds Webster completely throwing herself into the present, offering a sort of cathartic connection to the rest of us in our confusing reality. By the end, she makes it seem not so bad after all.

In a press release regarding the new album, Webster says, “I told myself a few years ago that I was going to be more honest in my songwriting, that honesty is the best route to take with music. If I have a voice and people are listening to me, I’m not going to waste it.” On I Know I’m Funny haha Webster embraces this new, open approach to the fullest. These new songs have a humble, personable tone to them, as if Webster is just catching up her friends on the past year. By not taking herself too seriously and allowing herself to have some fun in her songwriting, Webster delivers a warm, intimate landscape of feel-good twang and cheeky one-liners—it’s what she does best.

Label: Secretly Canadian

Year: 2021

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