Music

Faustina Masigat Frees Herself From Monotony on Her Self-Titled Debut (album premiere)

Photo: Vincent Bancheri (courtesy of Lucky Bird Media)

Faustina Masigat's captivating debut album captures feelings of stark loneliness while on the path to genuinely becoming herself.

Debut albums don't usually carry burdens as palpable as the songs present on Faustina Masigat's. The Portland singer-songwriter has a background in traditional music, taking her time in college to commit herself to arduous musical studies. Her artistry was truly cultivated when she dared to throw it all away. Realizing her evolution both as an artist and as a human being was smothered by the situation she was in, she did what she could to break away from it.

Faustina Masigat is about conscious loneliness, willing to delve into the terrifying process of purposefully undoing all you've learned so that you can truly be yourself. It's about realizing that you've been left emotionally ragged from a harsh breakup and creatively stifled by your academics and owning it. Masigat thrives on this album because her sentiment is heartfelt and real. She wears meditative heartbreak well because it's hers to own. In doing so, she develops an intuitive, captivating listen throughout bare-bones arrangements. Her subtle vocals are ferried forward by lush pedal steel and guitar but never overwhelmed. There's a story to tell here, and it's all Masigat's to own. However, it's in that she is sharing it with us that both she, as an artist and human, and we as her willing listeners, are better for it.

Masigat tells PopMatters, "There is a mundanity in heartbreak that I struggled to break out of for years. The recording process was deliberately very bare bones because I wanted that tension to be as palpable as possible. If a person really commits to their own suffering, absolutely everything becomes colored by that action. There are songs that carry that weight more than others, but the whole album was inspired by that period of time. I had had writer's block, and it felt like I was moving from situation to situation with no anchor. Every resource I had went into writing and breaking out of that monotony."

Faustina Masigat is set to be released on 6 April via Mama Bird. It was recorded by Rian Lewis, mixed by Ben Nugent and mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk.

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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