What do James Billett and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson have in common? Well, they are both talented individuals who have pilot licences and understand how to put the material at the forefront of their music projects/releases.
Having released a steady stream of single releases in early 2020, Billett has released a brand new EP entitled ‘What Will They Say About Us?’ for the world to hear. Opener ‘Faith Over Family’ deals with the sensitive subject matter of revealing your sexuality to a religious loved one (in this song’s case a father) and having them react angrily to learning this information. The light drum brush sound and light acoustic guitar intro dances with a haunting country-sounding lap-steel and orchestral strings “From the high ground you’ll find that it’s only hatred that will stay if you don’t change” James explains with his soothing voice. A very strong introduction for this EP.
The EP title track was released as a single with support from Black Minds Matter in the United Kingdom an organisation which wants to provide free mental health support for black people. It has impactful lyrics including “All I see/Is ignorance breeding/Superior believing” which really resonates in a tense socio-political climate across the world.
‘Feathers’ has a crisp electric guitar introduction with his husky voice proclaiming “You make my fingers feel like feathers” and if you enjoy the songs of singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti then this song might be up your street.
Next we have ‘Hall Of Fear’ is about wanting to be saved from your own ‘mental health prison’ as he cries out “Save me, save me from myself” with Regency dance-esque strings.
The EP concludes with a version of ‘Faith Over Family’ which was recorded live at the famous Wilton’s Music Hall nestled in East London, United Kingdom from a live show from earlier in the year. It proves that James Billett has a textured lead vocal which is perfect for the live arena and hopefully when live music can fully resume a tour of intimate UK venues might be on the cards so that people can fully experience James Billett powerful lyrics sung with a commanding voice.
What Will They Say About Us is released 25th September 2020.