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FAYE WEBSTER w/ Shepherds, Sister Sai & Taylor Alxndr + DJ MIKKOH at 529

  • 529 529 Flat Shoals Avenue Southeast Atlanta, GA, 30316 United States (map)

"In 1994, OutKast released its debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik — an iconoclastic blend of funk grooves, soul melodies, and Southern-style guitar licks. The record not only set the stage for the duo's ever-expanding approach to hip-hop (subsequent releases fused jazz, dub reggae, country, and spacey electronica), it established Atlanta as an incubator of future-forward sounds. Faye Webster — the Atlanta native whose sophomore LP arrived last month — is 19, the same age André and Big Boi were when they released Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Her self-titled record will win fans across the musical spectrum for its left-of-centre approach to folk. Webster is a lifelong student of country-western songwriting and Americana sound (her mom plays fiddle; her grandfather is a bluegrass guitarist). But she punctuates her own tunes with subtle flourishes of funk. Her voice hits a sweet spot somewhere between bluegrass powerhouse Alison Krauss, Natalie Prass, and Tennis's Alaina Moore, whose light vocals glide across any melody. Webster may seem like a strange signing for Awful Records, the hive of artists rightly heralded as the torchbearers of oddball Atlanta hip-hop. But she's, literally, right at home. Members of Awful's roster play with lo-fi 80s synths, country, and punk, often cross-pollinating each other's work. Shortly before releasing Faye Webster, she contributed silky smooth hooks to Rollin', a syrupy cut architected by Ethereal. Webster met the rapper and producer over the internet during her senior year of high school, by which point she'd already released her first album, 2013's Run and Tell. Soon after, she enrolled at Nashville's Belmont University. College wasn't for Webster, and she returned to Atlanta before completing her freshman year. Her sonics and songwriting style are most akin to the country, folk, and bluegrass titans who have cut their teeth in Nashville. But while in Tennessee, she discovered another way to creatively engage with her hometown's music scene: photography. After taking a photo class at Belmont, she began to make colourful, humorous, evocative portrait photographs of Migos's Offset, D.R.A.M., and her middle school pal Lil Yachty. In one of Webster's pictures, Awful ringleader Father sips champagne while surrounded by actual kids. In another, Lord Narf's colourful braids are dotted with butterflies." -iD-US