Music Review: Fay Wolf – Spiders

Many of the new artists I hear, I hear first in the soundtrack for a television show. For example, I first heard Eva Cassidy‘s cover of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Time After Time” on an episode of Smallville. And I heard Alexi Murdoch‘s “Breathe” for the first time in an early episode of Stargate Universe. And I first heard Fay Wolf, though I didn’t know it at the time, on an early episode of Covert Affairs.

So when I started listening to Fay’s new album Spiders, I knew I’d heard the voice before but it took me a while to figure out where. But I shouldn’t have been surprised that I first heard her music on TV, as her songwriting and composition style effortlessly combines storytelling and drama in much the same way as some of my favorite shows. Though her style is all her own, my ear keeps comparing her to artists as diverse as Florence + The Machine and Tori Amos, who also tell stories beneath the melodies.

Since listening to the music of Spiders, I’ve discovered that her songs have also been featured on episodes of Gray’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, and Pretty Little Liars. Beyond that, she is a classically-trained actress who has worked in theater, film and television with appearances on Law & Order, Numb3rs, Bones, Ghost Whisperer, and NCIS: Los Angeles. And if the music and acting wasn’t enough to keep her busy enough, she’s also a professional organizer with her own company “New Order,” named after the band.

Spiders is full of emotional honesty but also includes a bit of wit and humor within her lyrics. A word of advice however, she also includes a bit of explicit language in those lyrics, so though her music is amazing it might be best for a more mature audience.

The album starts with two of my favorite songs – “The Thread of the Thing” and “The Passing” – which set things off on the right foot.

“The Thread of the Thing” employs the dreamy feel of someone trying to explain how they feel. The lyrics are stream of consciousness but hit me like those conversations between lovers as they fall asleep… “And the stories of kings and the needle and the thread of the thing… in a little while I see that I love the way you came on…” Between the steady percussion like a heartbeat, the simple chording, and the atmospheric effects, it really got my attention quickly.

“The Passing” on the other hand manages to sound very different than “The Thread of the Thing,” featuring Fay’s voice and piano skills. Again, it’s like a dreamy conversation – “See here’s the thing / I love being in motion / and wrapped around you… I can hear you / and I can see the time / the time passing / the time passing by…” It’s as though her voice tells the story as her fingers dance across the keys.

In the middle of the album, “Pull” just seems to ring true again about… you guessed it. Love. This time it’s a bit more outwardly happy in the melody. “But y’figured out that the least you could understand / your heart is open to someone else’s hand…” Love sometimes manages to pull the breath from us, just like falling down in the snow. But the almost calliope-sounding keys gives this song a strong feel of fun while keeping that atmospheric piano behind the scenes.

But “In the Way” is the opposite to the languid feel of “The Thread of the Thing” with a melody that is at once sad, but honest. “How did we fall in love in a week / and how do we get away / how do we see if the cracks in the plan / are the reasons that we play the game…” Again, it’s simply Fay and a piano telling an honest story about romance. Sometimes things don’t work out and “if it’s all not fair, then why are you here.” Sometimes we have to look deeper than the fun we’re having to see that something isn’t good.

Spiders manages to express the complexities of love without seeming trite. I think that’s her gift, telling stories of love when it goes right and when it falls apart. Check it out at your favorite retailer. And for details about Fay, be sure to drop by her website FayWolfMusic.com.

This article first appeared at BlogCritics.org here.

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Syfy Summer 2011!

Yes, I know it’s still April, but that means May is just around the corner and then June and by that point summer is usually underway already!

Though Sanctuary, Season 3, just got underway last week and Stargate Universe is heading towards the series finale, fans of the network know they’re not the only shows airing these days. Everybody at my house has been clamoring for more Eureka and Warehouse 13 wondering when they’ll get started again. Well, now I know!

In July 2011, Syfy is airing a mix of new shows and old for our viewing pleasure:

  • SciFi logo

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    Alphas starts Monday July 11 and introduces us to a team of ordinary people with extraordinary abilities who go a bit vigilante. The team, led by Dr. Leigh Rosen (David Strathairn) investigates the cases other agencies can’t. It looks a bit like Wanted meets X-Men.

  • Also new is Legend Quest starting Wednesday July 13 – a reality series where archaeologist Ashley Cowie travels the world trying to find great artifacts from the past. Do you think he can find Excalibur or the Ark of the Covenant? This six episode series seems a bit like a real life Indiana Jones, so I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
  • And Eureka, Haven and Warehouse 13 also hit the airwaves again that week in July! It’s a bit early to set the DVR, but I know ours will be busy that week. :)

Also airing will be several new Saturday Original Movies from Syfy. Some of the ones in the past have been real stinkers, but maybe video-game inspired Red Faction: Origins will be more Babylon-5 than bad video game adaptation Doom? Also coming are ice creatures, dragons, killer sharks, and volcanoes. Have you ever noticed that Saturday nights on Syfy usually means something bad is going to happen to the Earth?

We’ll be tuning in to see our favorite shows and to see if there may be some new favorites in the mix as well!

–Fitz

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Sneak Peek: Stargate Universe – “Alliances”

Hi there…

As we count down to the final episodes of Stargate Universe, Monday’s episode looks interesting.

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In this sneak peek clip of the all-new episode of Stargate Universe, Camile and Greer are arguing their own opinions on how the Lucian Alliance Threat was responded to, until a siren alarms. Camile begins to frantically run for cover until Greer pulls her into an office and the ceiling collapses on top of them. Watch the clip and tune in on Monday at 10/9c on Syfy to see if they were injured and trapped or if they made it out of harm’s way just in time.

Where in the heck are they? Why are they in what looks like an office building back on Earth when they’re millions of light years from home on Destiny? The plot thickens! And why all of a sudden is the Lucian Alliance becoming a big thing?

Hmmmm… Guess I’ll have to tune in next week to find out!

Stargate Universe airs on Syfy on Monday at 9/10c.

–Fitz

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