[just like fire lyrics]Faye Webster on How a Shade of Blue, Her Boyfriend, and This One Animal Crossing Song Inspired Her N

Lin24 2021-8-6

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  The cover of I Know I’m Funny haha, featuring red stickers

  Avery Color Coding Labels

  Everything about [my 2019 album] Atlanta Millionaires Club came so easy—the name, the concept, the artwork. With this record, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know what era it represented, what to call it, what I wanted it to look like. And then I walked into an office supply store, found some red label stickers and it turned into a whole branding thing: just a sticker with Arial Bold writing in the middle. What is this thing that just says “haha?” It’s such a simple concept. It’s so dumb and so funny to me. Say less!

  Cobalt blue

  There was a similar in-the-moment thing when I was making this record where I just started to really like the color cobalt blue. For the rest of my life, when I see that color, I’ll think, Remember that record I made? I have this relationship now. It’s not deeper than that. It’s not sensory nostalgia, but the color speaks to me and makes me happy. It really has taken over my whole life: I painted my walls, started looking for clothes, bought a coffee table—and I don’t need a coffee table. I don’t even have the space for it! But it just makes me feel like me.

  Japanese musician Mei Ehara

  We are so lyrically different, but the first time I listened to her, I sent it to my band like, “This is the Japanese version of us.” I’ve learned so much just listening to her arrangements. I had her [sing] on the record because I could not finish this song [“Overslept”]. It was one of the later-pandemic songs, and I was fucking burnt. I could not do it. And then when I thought about my last record, when I had Father on it, that was so perfect—this person at that moment was so important to my career, and so important musically. And then when I thought about having a guest on this one, my label and manager were sending all these big names, and I’m like, “I don’t fucking care about them! The most influential person to me has been Mei. And if there is anybody to be on this record, I have to ask her, or else it would just be fake.”

  I’ve never met her in person—we just message. We’ve never even FaceTimed. We shared playlists, and I spent two hours on mine. There’s some mainstream stuff: I put Angel Olsen on there—like just in case she doesn’t know, now she knows. I spent so long curating this shit. Then, when I sent it to her, she was like, “I know all these songs.” Fuck! And hers was a lot of really old Japanese music—it sounded like what she does, but from the ’70s. There’s some bops on there that I saved on my phone.

  Image may contain Plot Diagram and MapAthens, Georgia

  I’ve made the past three records in Athens, so when it comes to working, I think, I’ve gotta go to Athens. It started with the people there—half my band and my engineer, who I love, is from there. And after 30 years of living in midtown Atlanta, my parents decided they’re moving to Athens. So now I’m there every weekend because I’m bored, and my parents like to drink, so we’re always partying. It’s different from Atlanta, even though it’s only an hour away. It’s smaller and way more chill. It’s like, you go to a bar, and you know everybody you’re about to see. It’s a more intimate place. But I would never live there!

  GarageBand

  I have a very strong relationship with GarageBand. It’s what I used in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. And for my past two records, I have done everything vocal-wise through GarageBand in my kitchen. I refuse to do vocals in the studio because I like doing what has always worked for me. By the time I get to the studio, my songs are completely written and arranged. I don’t share the songs with anybody beforehand because I don’t want them, like, plotting on it. It’s not until we’re in the studio that my band comes in—and then it’s like, “I have complete trust in you to make the most accurate representation of this song.” It’s been a lot of trial and error to find the system: write a song, bring it to my friends who play on it, and then go home and finish it on GarageBand. I’ve tried singing in the studio, and then I’m like—psyche! Like, shedding tears: “I need to go back and sit down in front of GarageBand.”

  Image may contain Clothing Apparel Human Person Helmet People Crash Helmet Team Sport Team Sport Sports and PantsAtlanta Braves star Ronald Acu?a Jr.

  My dad has season tickets, so I was at the Braves games all the fucking time. Although when I go to games and sit down and look around, I’m like, “These people are gross. What am I doing here?” It’s like old dudes yelling at the players on the field, just screaming everywhere. Sports fans are gross—truly gross. I’m not that person. There is nostalgia there: sitting in a plastic chair, getting so hot to where you’re about to faint around all these disgusting people. It’s a vibe! That is something I find comforting.

  When I wasn’t touring, I was always watching the Braves or at a Braves game. I was die-hard invested, emotionally. To the point where I am now writing about a sport! “A Dream With a Baseball Player” is the oldest song on the record—and it’s about a player on a giant commercial baseball team. Ronald Acu?a Jr. is really cute, and he’s my age. I thought we were meant to be. He’s also the best player they have—so that matters. But I do this thing where I get obsessed with something or go through phases—like yo-yo, perhaps—and I don’t end the phase until I’ve completed it—like going to the world yo-yo championship. And with the Braves, after they let me meet [Acu?a Jr.], when I got home I was like, “I’m done.” It was so anticlimactic. Not in a bad way, it was just like, “OK, he doesn’t give a fuck about me.” I’ve spent two years obsessing over this person who will not remember meeting me after tonight. So that’s done—check! Onto the next phase.