Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Deanna Faye’s musical journey began almost the day she was born, and a childhood surrounded by music almost inevitably resulted in a desire to create her own. After overcoming a major health scare, Deanna returned to balancing her day job with playing open-mics by night, and set about writing the songs that make up her recently released debut EP, Good To You.
The record opens with recent single, Reassure, a slow-burning number, with steady drum-beats overlayed with smouldering electric guitars and Deanna’s vocal, pitched somewhere between Jessica Lea Mayfield and Laura Veirs. Elsewhere on Good To You, Baby Velveteen has a pulsing indie-disco-feel reminiscent of the mid-noughties ilk of Metric or Rilo Kiley, while Sunday Best up’s the country-licks, with a nod to fellow Canadian, Martha Wainwright, both in tone and lyrical self-motivation, as she sings, “heaven’s in your face, but I’ll stay in my lane I have to love myself either way”. Probably the most ambitious moment is left until last, in the shape of Good To You, setting a tale of unrequited lust to a woozy-woodwind and acoustic combination that fans of Andy Shauf will surely admire. These are early days for Deanna Faye, yet already there’s something here, a little spark that might just be the start of a very bright flame.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Deanna Faye?
I’m a music lover first and foremost. I’m a singer-songwriter that only decided to record some of my music in the last two years or so without any expectations. I think my genre is definitely a form of pop, but I’m inspired by so many different genres in what I listen to that I think my music comes out being somewhat ambiguous. I started out as an oldies music fan when I was a kid, and I still love retro sounds the most. I’m self taught in guitar (but now taking lessons) and I think that this plays a role in my songwriting. I tend to experiment with chords and riffs in a way that I’ve been told is surprising. I like music that sounds simple but really isn’t, and melody is my favourite part of songwriting.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
It was at a house show and I was surprised by the amount of people they packed into the house. It was really hot and they had even set up a DIY stage and lighting. A handful of my friends were there and people I knew from childhood because the other bands were childhood acquaintances. I remember feeling a bit out of place because the songs I had prepared to play were kind of sad, slow and not exactly house party music. I remember singing that first line and feeling everyone’s eyes on me. It was the first time I’d performed after deciding I wanted to make music more seriously.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I love all art forms. I like makeup artistry. I take photographs, draw and write (poetry, some long and short form stuff) but music is the only art form where I feel like I can express myself the clearest. I was a really shy, introverted kid growing up and music was where I found escape but also empowerment. If I can use a chord progression and a few simple lines to express a powerful emotion or idea, I think that’s so incredible. Music feels like the most tangible art form to me. It touches the whole body and mind.
FTR: What can people expect from the Deanna Faye live show?
When I perform live, I like to be the most genuine that I can be. Since my songwriting typically comes from a place of personal stories to a degree, performing to me is a bit like giving away secret parts of myself for others to hear. I haven’t had that many chances to perform live in person since I started making music professionally because I began right before the pandemic happened. I look forward to the future when in person shows can be a thing again, because I feel a lot more prepared to play live after gaining recording experience. For now, I’m trying to upgrade my Instagram livestream shows by hooking my microphone up through my DAW and monitor speakers. I’ve started doing livestream shows more regularly.
FTR: What’s next for Deanna Faye?
I’m always songwriting. I’d like to make music that is a bit darker, maybe more of a concept album that has a more alternative, post-rock vibe to it. I love playing with genres and making my own style, so you can probably expect it to be pretty different than my first EP.
They Listen To…
Aldous Harding – Fixture Picture
Emma Ruth Rundle – Protection
Andy Shauf – Living Room
Arthur Russell – I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face
Charlotte Cornfield – In My Corner
Good To You is out now. Click HERE for more information on Deanna Faye.