Jun 25, 2021
By Mark Moody
Photography by Pooneh Ghana
On the eve of her latest Secretly Canadian album release, I Know I’m Funny haha (which is out today), and with a fall tour on the horizon, you will have to forgive Atlanta’s Faye Webster for having more pressing matters on her mind. Outside of her musical and songwriting skills, which came to full fruition on her 2019 breakthrough album, Atlanta Millionaires Club, Webster is noted for having a myriad of other talents. A published photographer and yo-yo master, Webster’s current obsession is in conquering ping-pong and taking down her cross-table nemesis and real-life partner, Booth. “Yeah, we’re honestly too excited about that because we play all day until 2 a.m. But then, it’s like, ‘Dude, we have to stop. We have the table, it’s not going anywhere,’” Webster shares.
Flash back a few months, and Webster tackled another challenge in filming the video for striking I Know I’m Funny haha single, “Cheers.” The song’s revved up engine and crunchy synths seem atypical for Webster, but lent themselves well to a video replete with dirt bike jumps, extended wheelies, and ATV street races. “On the first day of the video shoot I was saying, ‘I’ll just have a pose with it,’” Webster says of the dirt bikes. “And on the third day, I was riding it with everybody else. It was so fun.” Webster admits to keeping her bike’s wheels firmly on the ground, but she achieved a level of mastery needed to lead a clutch of other more experienced riders through the video’s paces.
Pressed to turn her attention to I Know I’m Funny haha, Webster reveals that half of the album was recorded pre-pandemic, with the balance written and recorded over the past year. Webster delves into a few different sounds on the album, with some new musicians and guests on board, but the album primarily retains the woozy groove that set Atlanta Millionaires Club (AMC as she calls it) apart from the singer/songwriter crowd. No doubt Webster has a knack for taking an everyday moment or thought and turning it into an insightfully funny couplet. In “Cheers,” Webster takes a playful shot at Booth (who has his own Atlanta based band, Danger Incorporated). The lyrics complain, “I like your songs, even though they aren’t about me.”
“We had just started dating when he put the album out, so of course none of the songs are about me,” Webster admits with a laugh. “But it was a real feeling and I’m sure that happens to so many other people.”
With a new drummer on board for I Know I’m Funny haha in Harold Bowen, Webster’s backing band sounds as locked in as ever. And she explains that she likes that magic to come together organically in the studio. “I don’t like to think about that stuff before we go in [the studio],” she says. “The more time we spend plotting on what it should sound like, the less accurate it is.”
Atlanta Millionaires Club had Atlanta hip-hop artist Father in tow, but on I Know I’m Funny haha Webster’s guest vocalist sent in her contribution from half way around the world. Japanese songwriter, mei ehara’s contribution to late album track, “Overslept,” adds masterfully to the song’s barely awake vibe. “I just discovered her music through Spotify and started obsessing. We sent pieces of the song back and forth during the pandemic,” Webster explains.
In keeping with her expansive list of outside interests, Webster is also an avid Atlanta Braves baseball fan. And in the past few years her love of the team has been enhanced with the addition of Rookie of the Year and early career All-Star, Ronald Acuña, Jr. The outfielder is still going strong, and is the subject of I Know I’m Funny’s “A Dream with a Baseball Player.” Though Webster holds out little hope of displacing Bad Bunny on Acuña, Jr.’s list of walk-up songs. “I feel like most walk-up songs have a lot more energy,” she quips, but Booth can rest easy on Webster’s on-field obsession. Booth makes a cameo in the song’s video as a cigarette smoking outfielder and Acuña, Jr. is nowhere to be seen. After all, keeping her friends close and keeping it real is no laughing matter.