In an era of strained connection, Faerie’s new EP, 2am, is a fantastic show of independent artists bringing music to life across borders and oceans. Written by Christine Joyce Lam (@Faerie), Christian Young (@ImTryingMusic), and Jonathan Atkins (@thewavcat) —the mind behind the project’s instrumentation, production, mixing, and mastering— 2am is a cross-genre, trans-national, collaborative project; liberating and upbeat, perfect for driving in or dancing by the night.
Inspired by the artistic and cultural melting pot of New York City, and influenced by “Christine and the Queens, Maggie Rogers, SHAED, Harry Styles, Troye Sivan, ... The 1975”, Faerie colors her music with the sonic and lyrical equivalent of pixie dust. True to her name, Faerie’s electro-retro-pop sweeps us on a fun-ride through sound waves and soundscapes; the ease and precision of her vocals lifting listeners on a flying tour over some indie-pop Neverland.
Asked about her name, Faerie explains: “faeries seem gentle and friendly ... but there are stories of their cruel and mischievous nature. Things aren't all that they seem.” This duality shines through Faerie’s very songs. Serene and dreamlike at first impression, you’ll find deeper images between the lines, dissembling in disguise.
2am embodies a synth-tastic attitude. Its impressive mixing and mastering begs an appreciation for the work that went into production. Curious, I reached out to Faerie to learn more about her love of collaboration, and the escape and freedom she hopes her songs can provide.
“I’m losing my mind in this fever dream, so baby come and find me...”
2am’s first track is a modern, funky-fun mix, flavored by pitch bending, spicy guitar riffs and the atmospheric panning of Faerie’s sweet yet soulful voice. The song’s trancelike sensibility warps you into Faerie’s fantastical world, as she chases a lover through this chaotic, fever-dreamscape. The song’s curt percussion and quantized vocals mirror the vortex Faerie’s been sucked into— hoping to let go, yet wanting to be chased— a battle between desire and the preservation of her sanity.
“I don’t need your lovin’ to feel at ease...”
This track follows “Fever Dream” like the aftermath of choosing oneself over some unreliable other; of self-love as the remedy to loss and loneliness. Draped in dreamy harmonies —sensory, climactic— Faerie’s vocals are android-like, futuristic, sometimes bent into a much higher or lower pitch. She sings to us from some private sanctuary, her message transmitted by the help of Jonathan Atkins, who worked on Faerie’s demo while she co-wrote the track with Christian Young (known as ImTrying, based in Texas). Faerie calls “White Noise” “one of those ‘spur of the moment’ projects”, an “impulsive collaboration” drafted in November 2020 responding to an online music community prompt.
My personal favorite, “White Noise” is the ribbon tying 2am together.
Fever Dream — Drew Grit remix
A surprising alternative pop-rock reimagining by UK-based producer Drew Grit (@drewgrit): This remix is “Fever Dream” reinvented for a new audience, for jamming out and road tripping.
Fever Dream — discofox remix
Intense, fearless, experimental: Jonathan Atkins a.k.a. discofox speeds up the tempo of “Fever Dream” for this fourth and final track, distorting and ushering Faerie’s voice from pop-princess to pop-star, reminiscent of Britney or Gaga. This 80s dance club remix reminds us of happier (maybe ravier) times.
Faerie had reached out to both producers on recommendations and a limb, granting each of them complete creative freedom. In her words: “I value collaboration ... being able to highlight indie artists such as myself is important. I ended up reaching out to more producers who were interested in remixing the track. Having these remixes really helped me meet and highlight amazing new indie producers.” And you can check out seven other Fever Dream Remixes on SoundCloud, here.
Faerie hopes that 2am will “allow listeners to really feel free. This EP was meant to let you dance your problems away. My goal when writing music is to transport listeners to a world where they can escape our chaotic reality. I felt so much freedom and liberation writing this EP and I hope my listeners will feel the same.”
It was a pleasure to get a closer glimpse at Faerie’s creative mind as well as the artistic, collaborative process that brought 2am to life. Lovers of any genre, from anywhere, no matter the hour will enjoy Faerie’s daring debut, available now on bandcamp and SoundCloud.
Written by Karina Mercedes Martinez