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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2021 | Secretly Canadian

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Faye Webster's songs are like the musical equivalent of a drizzly morning when you know the sun is on its way—beautiful, sleepy in an appealingly decadent way, and full of promise. "Better Distractions," the gently percolating opening track from the singer-songwriter's fourth album, is a little jazzy, a little country, a little folky, flirting with the melody of "Something Stupid" while Webster comes on like a melting-butter version of Rickie Lee Jones. No wonder Barack Obama chose it as one of his favorite songs of 2020. "Sometimes" washes over you like a warm bath, while "A Stranger" employs sweeping romantic strings borrowed from an old movie—then adds deep pauses between drum beats to both heighten the drama and force the listener into a state of relaxation. The slip-sliding guitar of "Kind Of" has a similar magic effect, but the slightly off-kilter drum beat keeps you engaged and on your feet. "It feels kind of tucked away," Webster sings again and again, which is a pretty apt description of the song itself. Weirdly, "Kind Of" also suggests Webster could write a killer ballad for Gwen Stefani, as does "In a Good Way," its flamenco-flirting guitar smartly bouncing off her vocal melody. "Both All the Time"—"There's a difference between lonely and lonesome/ but I'm both all the time"—uses a plodding bass to underscore a sense of delicious wallowing, then adds triangle to interrupt her dark reverie, like the return of a typewriter putting a definitive punctuation on a thought. (It also lives up to the album title.) With its lazy sax, "A Dream with a Baseball Player" is a light and sexy take on girl-group shoop-shoop. "Overslept" finds Webster matched for low-key loveliness by Japanese singer-songwriter mei ehara. And "Cheers" is positively strident for the extremely low-key (if sometimes anxious-sounding) Webster, its slinky guitar bobbing atop a caffeinated rhythm, like a Courtney Barnett outtake. Good stuff. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz