When I was younger, Play was my favorite band. If you have no idea who I’m talking about, don’t feel bad. The Swedish girl group was relatively popular in Sweden and the United States, but they were never the female One Direction. Their song “Cinderella” was covered for the first “Cheetah Girls” film by Disney, and the first single after a 2009 reunion, “Famous,” was covered by Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush. Play is no longer together, but my admiration for the artists who were in the band did not end where their discography did. Since their final disbandment, I have done my best to stay informed on any new projects the Play alum put out. Out of the seven girls who have been a part of Play, one of the original members has impressed me the most. In 2012, Fanny “Faye” Hamlin started putting out solo work that I can easily describe as nothing short of brilliant.
It definitely was not what I was expecting.
Faye has been traveling around Europe and America performing songs from her upcoming album, “Progress.” While there is still a shred of influence from her bubble-gum pop beginnings, each new song she releases shows an obvious maturity that Faye carries well. Her first single, “Come to Me,” was the beginning in a string of electro-pop ballads that have me excited to hear her full album rumored to be due out sometime this year.
While “Come to Me” is a decent song, two tracks that I would love to see Faye release in America are “Water Against the Rocks” and “Breathe.” Both also ballads with an electronic feel, and both have clever lyrics. With “Water Against the Rocks,” you have your tragic song about the girl who is desperate for love that isn’t there. The lyrics are heart-wrenching not only in the chorus but throughout the whole song.
“Breathe Out” is an equally powerful song with much the same motif (I must say, though, she does do the heartbroken girl thing well). What stuck out to me the most in this track is the end. It is sung a little more breathy, less sure than the rest of the song. To me, it almost sounds like she’s ready to cry. Like I said, she does heartbreak and she does it well.
New this year, a song from Faye’s album was debuted on Sveriges radio called “Higher Than the Sun.” I listened to it, and it’s good. It was a little slower, and I wasn’t as impressed as I was with the previous three songs, but the more I listen to it the more it grows on me. I think it’s just one of those songs you have to listen to a few times before you can fully appreciate it.
Faye’s style is unique and I have a feeling the world will hear a lot from her in 2013.