Faith over Family is the debut offering from James Billett, the man described as Elton John’s protege. A track which taps into the storytelling tradition of country music, altering it to present not his own story, but the story of those marginalised in society. Billett becomes a voice for the voiceless within his music, telling the story of LGBTQ people from an outsiders’ perspective, in the position of an ally.
Allyship is something intrinsically important to supporting the struggles of queer people the world over, and it’s really great to see artists stepping up to promote these sorts of issues. The song itself is a quiet reflection on how religion and sexuality collide, and is a story told in James’ near-whispered vocal which has earned him comparisons to Ray LaMontaigne and James Taylor.
The song itself is a beautiful, lilting lament about the prejudices which LGBTQ people face everyday, a topic which Billett tackles with all the sensitivity found in the song itself. The instrumentation is kept simple, allowing Billett’s vocal to take centre stage, but the chord progression will wrench at the heartstring of anyone who is listening.
The video accompanying it is nothing short of a feat of cinematic storytelling. Shot in the evocative landscape of Iceland, its shallow depth of field lends it an air of mystery and an ethereal mood. The video features not Billett, but a pair of lovers discovering and celebrating their love together, in the face of all the adversities and prejudices they come up against.
Overall, it’s a promising debut from an artist we hope to hear more of in the future. You can watch the video below and follow James on social media to stay updated!