Charlie Faye & the Fayettes See a Glimmer of Hope With 'Baby We'll Be OK': Premiere

Charlie Faye & The Fayettes
Eryn Brooke

Charlie Faye & The Fayettes

Charlie Faye & the Fayettes aren't entirely bigger and better on their sophomore album The Whole Shebang -- whose "Baby We'll Be OK" is premiering exclusively below. But the retro-hugging Austin, Texas, girl group did branch out and apply some lessons learned from its 2016 debut this time around.

"I wanted to take things a little further production wise, be a little more intentional about the production," Faye tells Billboard. "Honestly, I'm still so happy with how the first album turned out, but I knew I wanted to branch out a little more from what we did on that. Once I learned how to approach that straight-up girl group style, this time I wanted to do something that was a little more rock 'n' roll, something that was a little more '70s soul -- just open things up a little more."

Faye and company tap that rock side with "Stone Cold Fox," the surfy "You Gotta Give It Up (Party Song)" and "Cream Rises to the Top," the latter as a commission from the TV series Riverdale as a song for the show's Josie & the Pussycats. "I wrote it from Josie's perspective and did some character research," Faye says, "like, 'What is this girl all about?' She's this strong, independent young woman, not caught up in boys. She's all about her career and killing it. It didn’t get used for the show but I felt like it was a really good song, so I put a little more into my wheelhouse, musically, and did it for the album."

Faye also stretched things a bit with the female empowerment sentiments of "I Don't Need No Baby" and "Say Those Words" -- "I knew I wanted to have a few songs on the album that were about social issues," she says -- while the lushly arranged "Baby We'll Be OK," one of five The Whole Shebang songs Faye wrote with Nashville-based Bill DeMain, is intended as encouragement for those troubled by the current state of the world.

"I feel like we need that kind of song so much right now," Faye says. "I really like songs that tell me it's gonna be OK, too. But as I was writing it I realized I didn't want to just say everything’s gonna be OK and leave it at that; There's all this crazy stuff going on in the world around us, so I wanted to address that in the song, too, and say that it doesn't feel OK right now and we don't know what the outcome of all this is gonna be, but we have to maintain just a glimmer of hope that things will turn out alright."

Faye is "already thinking about the next record" for the Fayettes but hopes the group will be able to tour in support of The Whole Shebang, due out Feb. 8. "I wish we could be on the road more," Faye says. "I started playing this kind of music because it's what I wanted to hear as an audience member and a listener. It's the kind of show I wanted to watch. So I created it for myself because it makes me feel good -- and I can see it makes the audience feel good too. If you're in a bad mood and you play this music, or you hear this music, you're gonna be in a better mood afterwards. The more we can do that, the better, I think."


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