Far From Saints is the self-titled debut album from a new band formed by Kelly Jones (Stereophonics), Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker (The Wind and The Wave). The trio build up a friendship through touring together, sharing creative ideas and a love of similar musical influences. What I love about this band and the way they formed and created this album, is it shows musicians don’t have to stand still and continue to follow the same cycle of album release and tour. It is ok to have a break from that routine, get involved with other musicians, challenge yourself creatively and try something different. Kelly Jones has certainly not left the Stereophonics, Far From Saints proves that you can be in more than one band at the same time and doing so is in fact very healthy.
Far From Saints is an album that has to be played from start to finish. I read in an interview how they band did not give the label a song to hear first. They recorded this as an album before giving it to anyone, to ensure that it was played from start to finish. After listening to the album several times, I can certainly see why the band felt the need to do this. This is an album to get lost in, it’s a driving album. I have fond memories of driving home from a festival with my friends listening to The Same Old Blues by Proud Mary, this was over two decades ago now but when I hear that album I am instantly transported back to that moment. I know the world has changed and people’s attentions are not what they were, and we have so much screaming at us constantly for our time and attention, but an album is something that you need to prioritize, albums can give us moments that last forever. If you are going to a festival this summer make sure you have Far From Saints with you in the car, put it on for the drive home, you will feel happy, you will be singing and it will give you moments that will stay with you for eternity.
Screaming Hallelujah opens the album with some gentle acoustic strumming that will instantly grab your attention. Kelly’s familiar voice soon arrives and just like that the world feels safe again. There is something so comforting about Kelly’s voice that just eases any worries you may have. Patty’s vocals arrive and your happiness is elevated to another stratosphere. Music is meant to stir emotions and every sound that we hear in this song will make you feel something. The strings, percussions, melodies, vocals and rhythms all combine to give us an album opener to remember. Faded Black Tattoo follows with a haunting, hypnotic vibe that will be sure to leave an impression on each and every listener. Take It Through The Night sounds like a lost 70s classic, this is a classic bluesy song with a drum beat that will get deep inside your heart and soul.
Is it ok to start talking about songs of the year? We have reached the half way point so we have a good batch of songs to compare. Not that it is a competition, but in my humble opinion Let’s Turn This Back Around is a contender for song of the year. I love the way Kelly and Patty take it in turns to put their point across in the lyrics, which is a fine example of genius song writing. “You don’t have the right / To make me feel that I’m the only one that’s changed”. The melodies, the strings are out of this world, as is the overall composition of this song. From start to finish this is an incredible song and is one for the ages.
Gonna Find What’s Killing me is a beautiful, tender, honest ballad that will take you back to days gone by. The opening lyric is full of reflection “Hopscotch in the holidays / Wind chimes blow and sway”. There are so many great lines in this song including “But I’m still alive and I’m gonnna find what’s killing me”. I am sure this line will be relatable to so many. The Ride gives the album another bluesy rock feel, this is the sound of a band having fun together in the studio, hanging out as mates and recording the music that they love. We Won’t Get Out Alive weaves in and out with melodies, harmonies and drum beats that will nestle inside your head and ensures your attention is firmly held on this album and nothing else.
No Fool Like An Old Fool is a lovely, timeless song that will make you smile. Let The Light Shine Over You is full of sunshine and joy. We have all been enjoying some sunshine over the last few weeks, this is a song that will sound great lying in a field on a summers day and not having to worry about the day-to-day routines and worries that we usually have to deal with. Music is about escapism and Let The Light Shine Over You certainly provides us with some respite from the world. Own It closes the album with some vocal harmonies and melodies that by now you will be head over heels in love with.
Don’t waste any more time, if you are able to pick yourself up a physical copy of Far From Saints or at the very least stream the album from start to finish. We are lucky that there are artists out there who believe in the album format, believe in their art and are doing all they can to make the world a better place. Far From Saints have certainly done all that and more with this debut album it allow us listeners to escape from the world and create memories that will last a life time.