Queen City Nerve

Charlotte's Cultural Pulse

Faye Wisens Up for New Album
No longer sparkling

By Courtney Mihocik

July 23, 2019

Faye (from left): Susan Plante, Thomas Berkau and Sarah Blumenthal. (Photo by Brian BT Twitty)

When Susan Plante met Sarah Blumenthal in 2015, Plante told her they were going to be in a band together, and it was going to be called Faye.

Plante, a classically trained pianist and Blumenthal, guitarist for Alright, learned guitar and bass, respectively, for the new project they embarked on together. The next year, they released the band’s first EP, Faye, in May 2016. The EP was picked up by record label Tiny Engines.

It’s no wonder, as Blumenthal and Plante take a ’90s indie revival approach to their music that’s reminiscent of 2010 Rilo Kiley and mix it with personal lyrics and a driving melodies throughout the EP’s tracks.

Faye was a straight recording, as described by Plante, wherein they teamed up with drummer Kristen Leake and played all at once without isolating the separate instruments and vocals.

Susan Plante (Photo by Brian BT Twitty)

Now, as they prepare to step back into the studio for another album, this time with drummer Thomas Berkau, Plante said to expect their four years of experience to translate into the new collection.

“We were new to our instruments [when we recorded Faye], so our songs were straight-forward, easy songs but now our sound has developed a little bit and we want to explore,” she said. “I think we’re going to go into it differently and be less intimidated by it, and really embrace it and be creative with it.”

But the new album will also reflect a darker version of the two, as Plante and Blumenthal experiment with a “less sparkling” sound and more thoughtful, in-depth lyrics.

“We’re exploring a little more dissonance, I’d say our lyrics are a lot more in-depth and personal,” Plante explained. “Because we’ve really been figuring out what we want our sound to be and what we want to talk about.”

Faye performs at Snug Harbor (Photo by Brian BT Twitty)

One of the songs to be featured on the new album is “Wise Words,” in which Plante delves into her relationship with religion — or lack thereof.

The lyrics: “When you were young, you trusted anyone/Raise your face up to the sun, declared it god.”

“It’s a pretty slow, quiet one, I have some really interesting ideas, it’s just really slow and haunting,” Plante said of the song and its inspiration. “I didn’t grow up with any [religion], it’s always been strange to me.”

However haunting and slow, the city awaits Faye’s first full-length album expected in early 2020. At least we have the initial EP and regular shows to keep us satisfied.

Faye plays alongside Julian Calendar, Zeta and LXS Ortiz on August 6 at 8 p.m. at The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Road; Tickets are $7

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