Today, Atlanta wunderkind Faye Webster announces her new album, I Know I’m Funny haha, out June 25th on Secretly Canadian. To mark the occasion she has released the first single, “Cheers” and its companion music video directed by Matt Swinsky. “This song has always felt like a standout from the record to me. It was the kind of song where you’re like ‘oh yeah, this is the one,’” Webster says of “Cheers.” “Right after the first take. It felt different to me and it made it feel like I was entering a new era and chapter for myself. It’s kind of the outlier on the record but at the same time is still so original and identifying to myself. Also it just makes me feel like a badass for once.” The video features Faye hanging with Atlanta’s dirt bike scene king SIG and the Real Bike Life Only riders. “I’ve known SIG and the bike life guys for many years now. If cameras were not present these guys are still riding for their own enjoyment. People love what they do and yet there are still many people who are so quick to judge and label them in a hateful way. Everyone of them that I’ve met has been kind, welcoming and hospitable to us so that inspires me to continue documenting them the best I can,” says Swinsky.
This fall, Webster will head out on a headlining tour in support of the album kicking off September 7th in Columbus, Ohio at A&R Bar. Highlights include Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 21st, Mercy Lounge in Nashville on September 27th and the tour closer at Terminal West in her hometown of Atlanta. Tour presale starts Wednesday 28th April while general on-sale will be on Friday at 10am local time. For more information and tickets visit https://www.fayewebster.com/tour
09/07/21 – A&R Bar – Columbus, OH
09/08/21 – Mahall’s – Cleveland, OH
09/09/21 – Hi-Fi – Indianapolis, IN
09/13/21 – El Club – Detroit, MI
09/14/21 – Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA
09/15/21 – 9th Ward – Buffalo, NY
09/17/21 – Higher Ground – Burlington, VT
09/18/21 – Portland House of Music, Portland, ME
09/20/21 – Sinclair – Boston, MA
09/21/21 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – New York, NY
09/23/21 – The Foundry – Philadelphia, PA
09/24/21 – Union Stage – Washington D.C.
09/25/21 – The Southern – Charlottesville, VA
09/27/21 – Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN
09/29/21 – Georgia Theatre – Athens, GA
09/30/21 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA
I Know I’m Funny haha marks the latest effort from the 23 year old artist and her most fully realized effort to date. Though she usually tackles album making in a song by song approach, 2020 necessitated a more intensive recording process. Webster immediately knew the Athens-based players she wanted to record with, and headed into the studio with producer/mixer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, Of Montreal, Kishi Bashi). They assembled a band including Harold Brown on drums, Bryan Howard on bass, Nic Rosen on keys and Matt “Pistol” Stoessel on pedal steel – one of the most reliable and essential musi In the two years since Atlanta Millionaire Club, Webster’s profile has steadily risen—as she played festivals like Austin City Limits and Bonnaroo and found her way onto none other than Barack Obama’s 2020 year-end list—and she also fell in love. “This record is coming from a less lonely place,” Webster says of I Know I’m Funny haha, which finds her sound fuller, brighter, and more confident. “When I wrote AMC, I was living by myself and on some don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-own-time type shit. But now I’m living with my partner; I’m happy most of the time. I’m in such a different place. These songs aren’t necessarily happier, but it’s a different vibe.”
The album began for Webster with the stirring ballad “In a Good Way,” as in “You make me want to cry in a good way”—an instant-classic Faye Webster one-liner. It’s beguilingly simple (as is her fantastic self-directed video), the kind of melody and arrangement that seem to have existed forever. “I didn’t know that I was capable of being happy right now,” Webster sings, and she says her own writing surprised her, too. “When I wrote that song, I was like Damn, I didn’t know I could write these kinds of songs! I feel like it set the mood for the rest of the album.” A sense of relief charges the neo-psychedelic pop of “Cheers,” where Webster experiments with an overdriven guitar tone. She also collaborated, on “Overslept,” with the Japanese artist Mei Ehara, who she calls the biggest influence on her new music.
“A Dream About a Baseball Player” is Webster’s oldest song on the record, a snapshot of her one-time teenage crush on Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.—who she actually met when she was invited to sing at a Braves game in 2019. The song is no doubt a testament to I Know I’m Funny haha’s brilliantly colloquial title. But more than humor, Webster’s music is full of personality. (This also shines through her work as an accomplished photographer of portraits and still lifes.) Many of her songs contain bits of girl-group-esque talk-singing, which color her atypical story-songs. The title track, for example, reflects on a dinner with her partner and his sisters, one of whom told her she’s funny.
“One of my favorite things about songwriting is taking thoughts that people don’t really think are worthy, or might overlook, and highlighting them,” Webster says. (She also comes alive when describing hobbies like chess and yo-yoing.) “I like saying things that everybody thinks, but nobody’s saying. Sometimes you can’t really sing them, or make them pretty. So I’ll just say it, just talk. I’ve become more purposeful with it.”
Webster started recording I Know I’m Funny haha before the coronavirus pandemic, but with the 2020 shutdowns, she had to switch up her typically spontaneous song-by-song studio approach for most of the album. She tried recording with her band for a COVID-safe two-week studio stretch, but ultimately left, recording vocals at home on Garageband: “I did the rest of the vocals in my bedroom, which is what I’ve done and what I’m used to, and what I prefer,” she says of her intimate singing style. The entirety of the album’s stunning, acoustic closer “Half of Me” was tracked by Webster alone at home. And the uncertainty of life in 2020 also seeped into some of her lyrics, as on the gorgeous “Better Distractions” (which landed on Obama’s playlist), a song about missing a loved one and wondering “What’s next?”
Accepting the challenges, Webster says she’s in a growth mindset, pushing herself to learn more, to be more vulnerable. “Growth is really important to me,” she says. “I hope people will relate to my songs, and not just be like ‘this is a good record’ but ‘this makes me feel something. This is making me think differently, this is making me question things.’ 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.”