Music-News.com is proud to host the exclusive world audio premiere of ‘Faith Over Family’ by James Billett.
James Billett’s story thus far is a strange one. It’s full of twists and turns, and includes Elton John buying him a piano, writing sessions with John Legend and praise from Noel Gallagher, before… walking away from all of it. Now, he’s back, with a song that comes straight from the core of who Billett is as a person and an authentic artist - this time, on his own terms.
‘Faith Over Family’ is the result of a soul search, one that led James Billett back to who he truly is as a person and who he wants to be as an artist. It’s also a masterful feat in character appraisal and storytelling. Billett takes on the mantle of a young gay man whose father puts his religious beliefs above his love for his son. The song is “an ode to the happiness that his son finds when he comes out as being gay, juxtaposed with the bitter sadness that the father inflicts on himself because he cannot accept his son for who he is.”
Billett’s softly-spoken voice - a unique vocal tone which sits somewhere between James Taylor and Ray LaMontagne - tells a narrative which comes across not as a spiteful condemnation of those who don’t understand, but instead an overflowing of quiet sadness, frustration and pity which ultimately ends in hope. Billett’s lyricism is truly accomplished, with lines such as “you choose paper over skin again,” really hitting home, and the ringing out of “you can change', repeated over and over again in James’ near-whispered vocal as the song comes to an end.
Ultimately, then, this song is a heartfelt and hopeful plea for kindness between fellow people. It’s a hazy exploration behind closed doors of some of the more impenetrable of human emotions, rarely aired to the light. James Billett has proven that he has the chops and the insight to head into this territory essentially unexplored in such a balanced way. Released just in time for a Pride month in a year where we could really use all the love we can get, this song is coming at the perfect time for it to truly be appraised, and for James Billett to reach the authenticity of the artist he truly wants to be.