Review: Far From Saints Argue The Bad Mood Is In Your Mind

“I’d watch [The Wind + The Wave] from the side of the stage and I knew that our voices would work very well together,” says Kelly Jones. “There was never a project planned. One night, Patty and Dwight walked off stage and I said, ‘We’ve got to do something together.’ The next day we sang something in a dressing room and it just formed from there. We booked two recording sessions, one at the end of each leg of the tour, and we did [a] whole album in nine days.”

Fans familiar with Kelly Jones’ previous work, particularly with rock band Stereophonics, might be taken aback by the country-folk, acoustic sound showcased in this project, which aligns more closely with The Wind + The Wave’s musical style.

Upon listening to the Far From Saints’ debut, one cannot help but be captivated by the seamless intertwining of Kelly and Patty’s voices, evoking the spirit of the genre- that being “sold in Cracker Barrel“. I kid, I kid.

(c) Ignition Records LTD, Far From Saints Recordings LLP

Particularly, I absolutely loved the opening track, “Screaming Hallelujah.” The infectious energy instantly grabbed me, drawing me into Far From Saints’ world and introducing the haunting harmonies of both Lynn and Jones. The heartfelt, descriptive imagery in Baker, Lynn, and Jones’ lyrics creates a truly enchanting experience. It’s interesting to note that Far From Saints marks Kelly Jones’ first experience of co-writing. Sadly, it’s the peak of the record, but at the very least, a high one.

The lyrical imagery seamlessly carries over into the enchanting track “Faded Black Tattoo.” In many ways, it feels like Far From Saints’ response to the timeless classic “All You Need Is Love,” as they chant the thought-provoking line, “Sometimes love isn’t all you need…”. This softer folk song embraces a dreamy melody that continues to envelop the listener. The intricacy of the instrumentation is masterfully executed, with subtle yet profound layers that add remarkable depth to the composition.

(c) Sophie French 2023

(c) Sophie French 2023

Both singles (“Let’s Turn This Back Around” and “Take It Through The Night”) that I discussed last March continue to offer contrasting experiences. The former grows on the listener with its slow, acoustic sound and seamless vocals. The production is impeccable, striking a perfect balance between grand and intimate. Subtle percussive elements provide a lovely backdrop for the vocals, while the line “my heart is tender for your lawn bonfire” stands out as a beautiful moment. In contrast, “Take It Through The Night” has a rough start with generic instrumentation, but it gradually redeems itself with a strong pre-chorus and chorus, accompanied by a cool orchestral aspect.

“Gonna Find What’s Killing Me” sounds very Stereophonics-esque, which is a much-welcomed change of pace. It’s short and simple, yet the lyrics by Jones, Baker, and Lynn shine through. There’s a beautiful piano line, and it could have been a terrific closing song for the album. Similarly, “We Won’t Get Out Alive” treads familiar ground, resonating with the same essence as its predecessor.

As the album progresses, “The Ride” reintroduces the familiar yee-haw instrumental clichés found in “Take It Through The Night,” but it also showcases Jones’ powerhouse vocals, stealing the spotlight.

Moving on to “Let The Light Shine Over You” and “No Fool Like An Old Fool,” both tracks possess an undeniable quality that makes them feel like timeless folk tunes. Even if you’re not typically a fan of the genre or someone who frequents Cracker Barrel, these songs possess an inherent charm that transcends personal preferences and captivates listeners.

Closing the album, “Own It” emerges as a triumphant anthem that dares to take a few risks. While the track demonstrates an eagerness to experiment and break new ground, it may leave some listeners yearning for more, eager to delve deeper into the unexplored territories hinted at by the band.

(c) Sophie French 2023

Overall, Far From Saints is an album from artists who know no boundaries, effortlessly blending different genres and tackling diverse themes. It has its moments where it almost falls into the trap of being ordinary, but the band saves the day with their captivating work among gripping lyrics. This record serves as a perfect introduction to a group of experienced musicians who are starting fresh, driven by an undiluted love for the music that brought them together in the first place.

However, strangely enough, I don’t find myself in need of more, and I believe Far From Saints has proven everything they needed to with this singular record. I approached it with absolutely no expectations, and to my surprise, I was left thoroughly satisfied.

Final Review: ★★★.5/5

Writer’s Highlights: Screaming Hallelujah