Sometimes, the mark of a great songwriter is their ability to weave whimsical imagery together with ornate allusions and profound, hidden meanings. Other times, though, the mark of a great songwriter is something almost entirely opposite: the ability to turn everyday, mundane language into something beautiful. So far as the latter goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as promisingly skillful as Atlanta native Faye Webster.
In a lot of ways, the music Webster makes is a perfect mirror to the changing nature of American music itself. With chilled-out R&B vibes, soul-stirring pedal steel and blunt, honest lyrics, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter captures the experience of being a young person trying to navigate the nostalgia-obsessed yet ever-changing nature of the country today. That’s what made her breakout hit “Kingston” so popular, and it’s what makes her newest single “I Know I’m Funny haha” so relatable and spectacular.
Dropping on May 18 ahead of her forthcoming album—also titled I Know I’m Funny haha and due out on June 25—the single is a comprehensive example of all the best parts of Webster’s style.
“‘I Know I’m Funny haha’ went from being a thought, to a lyric, to a song title, to an album title,” she explained in a press statement. “These are the thoughts that go through my head when writing a song—things that people might easily overlook and don’t think are worthy or pretty enough to be sung. I think that’s what people relate to it the most, and I think it’s an aspect of songwriting that you don’t get to hear often. This song feels all over the place but at the same time, it tells a story so simple and understandable. Me not getting my security deposit back from my landlord, my partner’s family forgetting who I am because they were drunk, wanting to be in a rock band with Booth… it almost sounds like a mad lib at first sight, but it just works.”
Even the music itself for “I Know I’m Funny haha” reinforces Webster’s authenticity. These days, one of the most popular doorways into music-making that young people have access to is GarageBand and similar softwares—Webster is no exception. After attempting to knock the record out in a two-week stretch of studio sessions, she ended up taking the stems back to her bedroom to record her vocals, giving I Know I’m Funny haha an intimate feel in a way that almost breaks the fourth-wall. In that sense, the music and lyrics seamlessly walk hand-in-hand, forging an inimitable musical earnesty.
“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,” Webster explained. “I like saying things that everybody thinks, but nobody’s saying. I’ve become more purposeful with it. If I have a voice and people are listening to me, I’m not going to waste it.”
Faye Webster’s new album I Know I’m Funny haha is out June 25 via Secretly Canadain. Its newest single, “I Know I’m Funny haha,” is out now and available everywhere—watch the music video for it below: