Edmonton’s Faith Healer is no longer a one-piece singer and songwriter, but a blossoming psych-pop duo. On the newest record, Try ;-), Faith Healer’s Jessica Jalbert is joined by longtime collaborator/multi-instrumentalist, Renny Wilson.
“We’ve always worked really closely together, and it’s always kind of been a project of the both of us,” Jalbert says. “In the past, I’ve kind of lead the ship a bit more in terms of arrangement and stuff like that. This time, around all the songs were in their most raw form, so Renny helped with the arrangements. It was a little more 50/50 this time and we just decided to join forces and call this a duo.”
Along with the new transition comes a refreshed pop sound for Faith Healer. The elements of ‘60s flower psych found on 2015’s Cosmic Troubles are still present, but are only featured as a small layer on Try 😉.
“We were aiming towards not trying to emulate a specific sound. We just wanted to make a record that had some rockers and great songs to perform live,” Jalbert says. “Before, I was excited about all the psychedelic layers we could add to a song, but this time around it was a little more bare bones.”
Jalbert got quite a bit of arbitrary feedback for Cosmic Troubles, immediately being labelled a “‘60s throwback project.”
“I’d play shows and some old man would come up and say, ‘You know that’s the chord progression to “Sweet Jane” right?’ I was like ‘Yeah dude, I do,’” she says.
The opening track to Try 😉, “Waiting,” quickly disproves that Faith Healer is only about psych. Starting off with a dial tone from a landline phone and introducing a jumpy chord progression underneath Jalbert’s wispy voice, the song is a dancy indie-pop ballad that longs for nostalgia.
The song bleeds into the second track “Light Of Loving,” a quick-paced indie rocker that incorporates a chaotic fuzz lead mixed with trippy organ.
“It was cool because the songs started out more singy and euphonic, because I wrote them on piano, but when we started jamming with guitar, then they took a whole different bent,” Jalbert says.
Along with the title track “Try ;-),” comes an eccentric, confusing music video directed by Jordan Minkoff, that follows the lives of a goth couple who have individual stints as bank robbers, cult leaders, and blind chefs. The actual narrative of the video is almost impossible to truly understand.
“I don’t have a fucking clue what’s going on in that music video,” Jalbert says. “Honestly, that was all Jordan. I’m so bad at all things visual and I don’t really have any creative impulses for video, so I told him to do whatever he wanted. So he made this weird, fucked up, funny video that’s hard to follow.”
Although, that seemed to be Minkoff’s original intention.
“His idea was to make a cinematic video that seems like it’s a lofty kind of film, but the content is so ridiculous and so stupid that nobody would ever make a movie of it,” Jalbert says with a laugh.
Faith Healer is entering a new chapter musically and it’s got them excited. Adding Wilson as a consistent member of the group was certainly the right decision and you can hear it on Try 😉. Calling Faith Healer just ‘60s throwback was never fair and the new record proves it.
“That’s why I threw in the emoticon,” Jalbert laughs. “It’s so fucking modern, but stuck in the past kind of like me in a way. Nobody uses the winky face anymore. Now, it’s all about the emojis.”
Fri., Sept. 8 (9 pm)
Faith Healer – Try 😉 album release
$15 at the doors