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First Play: Faith Healer, Try ;-)

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Andrea Gin

Edmonton duo Faith Healer is getting ready to release a sophomore album called Try ;-) and we have it streaming right here a week ahead of its release date.

You may be familiar with Faith Healer as a one-person entity. Jessica Jalbert recorded 2015’s Cosmic Troubles a solo artist, but when she started to work on her second album, she found herself struggling for inspiration. She was used to writing alone, but she was finding that setting aside time and space to make music was becoming increasingly hard to do.

“This time around, I didn't feel some songwriting spirit move me to write an album like I have in the past,” she writes via press release. “I don't like to admit it, but It took an actual effort to churn something out.”

She says she ended up naming the album Try ;-) because it was really what she had to do.

Going by a band name versus her own was a decision she initially made to try and get away from the label ‘singer-songwriter,’ but it turned out to be a fortuitous one. After spending an intensive month-long session recording with Montreal drummer and multi-instrumentalist Remy Wilson, they decided to officially become a duo. She found that working in tandem with Wilson helped jumpstart her creativity.

“In the studio if I was having a hard time getting my head in the game we'd head to the basement and take a breather, listen to a record that we thought might inspire us.”

In recording Try ;-), the duo focused on simple arrangements and the performability of the songs; Jalbert wanted the music to connect directly with listeners when heard in live settings. As a result, the album has a casual, warm, and easy feel.

“I wanted to write songs where the point was right there for the listener to hear. The songs are about the same kind of themes I usually write about — dealing with low spirits, trying to connect but wanting alone-ness, etc.,” she writes. “But I also tried this time [to] show some real resolve, lyrically.”

You can hear that immediacy and sense of purpose in the relaxed groove of the album’s title track, "Try ;-)."

Other songs on the album include the psychedelic jam “Light of Loving,” the gently rocking “Might as Well” and the slow, spacey “Sterling Silver.” It’s a diverse array of sounds, held together by straightforward, graceful production. It’s also a testament to persevering through creative dry spells.

“I wanted to sing about what I feel can happen after you've gone as far as you can go into your own introversion and what it feels like to emerge from that and to realize that you know yourself, and that you can really try anything you'd like.”

Try ;-) will be out on Sept. 8 via Mint Records. Pre-order it here. Find the band's tour dates here.