Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Faye Webster lays bare her soul on Underdressed at the Symphony

"Underdressed at the Symphony"

Release date: 01 March 2024
Faye Webster – Underdressed at the Symphony – Album Artwork
27 February 2024, 13:00 Written by Adele Julia

Despite having surpassed the half-way mark of her twenties, Faye Webster never really felt like a grown up.

Nevertheless, on Underdressed at the Symphony, she chooses to comfortably reside in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood, showcasing a wisdom that extends far beyond her years.

In many ways, Underdressed feels like a follow-up to 2022’s Car Therapy Sessions – a project that took Webster’s token relaxed compositions and transformed them into sweeping romantic arrangements, proving that her voice can flourish amidst both of these spaces. Providing the album’s very namesake, Webster admits she often found solace in classical performances; “I got to leave what I felt like was kind of a shitty time in my life and be in this different world for a minute. I liked that I didn’t feel like I belonged.” Consequently, her fifth album carefully balances the orchestral drama with a return to the stylish slouch of previous projects.

This is not without a marked maturation, though. From sage advice to spending habits, Webster’s keen to prove that balancing the two never really gets easier. Moreover, Webster’s comedic twists on romantic ideals are consistently underscored by elegant production – reaching a perfect equilibrium that renders each track both immediately accessible and subtly complex. Even at her most playful, like on the modestly charming "Feeling Good Today," no deed is too trivial to be committed to song – even if it is just the small success of eating before noon or opening the screen doors to let the light in.

In fact, a lot of Underdressed’s strengths can be found in Webster’s ability to build an atmosphere, whether it’s the languid coolness of her domestic world or an ode to her wider home of Atlanta. The city continues to be a strong current that runs throughout her projects, notably strengthened here by the feature from her old classmate, Lil Yachty, on album-highlight "Lego Ring," for a collaboration no one knew we needed until now. The track demonstrates a grittier facet that feels new to Webster’s sound: foregrounded by distorted guitars, before collapsing into the familiar hum of a pedal steel in its chorus.

Amidst the unexpected twists in its production, Webster still retains a strong narrative voice throughout, her intentions unfolding with each new line. Moments of nostalgia turn wistful within a single breath on the title track, singing; “I’m underdressed at the symphony / crying to songs that you put me on,” whilst fittingly backed by a full string quartet. But just as the bitter always comes with the sweet, the album’s closer gifts us with a litany of little victories to choose from. Rattling off a list of all her daily tasks, she then reassures herself; “I’ve got Tttttime” – acting as a gentle reminder to, if nothing else, call your parents and let yourself sit in the comfort of boredom for just a little while longer

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next