Jessica Jalbert didn’t always record under the name Faith Healer. The Edmonton-based artist changed her name for two reasons, one being her ever-shifting sound that warranted an artist rebrand, and the other being that she found performing under her own name made others place her into the singer-songwriter category, a genre that doesn’t represent her music.
“It’s like getting pigeon holed,” Jalbert says. “I wasn’t getting accepted for the shows that I wanted to be on, so I wanted to give it a band name to give it certain anonymity.”
Faith Healer’s music has shifted from the singer-songwriter category to more of a psychedelic sound. The newer style and name allows for Jalbert to explore deeper themes in her music. Her latest album, Cosmic Troubles, touches on loneliness, and personal and emotional crises.
“Basically the whole thing could be chalked up to emotional crisis at various times,” Jalbert says.
Exploring those themes is a given in music, considering the recording medium allows an artist to lay all of their emotions out in a public forum. However, Jalbert took the emotional crisis farther, using the feature that gives her the most insecurity to adorn the album art. The cover of Cosmic Troubles is a closeup of very crooked teeth, which as it turns out, are Jalbert’s own.
“The mouth is the ugliest part of my face, those are my actual teeth so I obviously didn’t have a lot of dental work as a child,” Jalbert explains. “I wanted to put that because the whole experience of putting an album out is a really vulnerable experience, so if I’m going go for it, I might as well go for it.”
Her vulnerability translates to powerful music, and also shows how Jalbert is taking hold of her insecurities to make her work more intriguing for new listeners.
“I thought, ‘here’s an ugly part of me, have a look at it. If you find that remotely interesting, maybe you’ll find the album interesting’.”