Far From Saints – Self-Titled
Usually, when you mix a quirky vocal with tantalizing melodies you get some interesting results. This is one of them. Especially when the vocalists blend. It’s a contrast that has qualities that spread easily in receptive ears.
“Screaming Hallelujah,” has wonderful vibrancy but it does sound like a Mumford & Sons song. It has that typical Mumford steady martial beat distilled by the flickering acoustic instrumentation. It has its drama & this is what keeps it a competent effort by a well-polished band.
“Take It Through The Night,” opens with a rock guitar bristle & an excellent performance with a full thrust achingly beautiful vocal by Patty Lynn that spills a dark-hued tonality. We’re late in the game of rock music innovation yet there are hints that a new generation (some of them) get it. These people get it, decorate it & make it their own in an impressive way.
Their self-produced, self-titled debut Far From Saints (Drops June 16-Ignition Records) provides 10 expressive tracks through the efforts of Kelly Jones (vocals), Patty Lynn (vocals) & Dwight Baker (guitar). While the songs aren’t earth-shattering or different in any way they will appeal to those who enjoy the music of Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers & possibly Great Big Sea, the Oysterband & Spirit of the West. They’re not as intense as The Pogues, or as rollicking & aggressive as the Dropkick Murphy’s but they nudge in their own way into that genre.
Unlike other reviewers, I don’t hear much Nashville Country in these tunes or Led Zeppelin or Fleetwood Mac. They are far closer to the traditional English folk rock of the bands I mentioned. Far closer. “Let the Light Shine On You,” continues with the Mumford & Son type arrangement (who take their cues from older bands like Fairport Convention with the late Sandy Denny, Pentangle) with the rougher edges of those other artists cited.
The voices of Kelly & Patty are folk-inspired both English & American with their quirkiness adding to their richness & authenticity. Iris DeMent‘s traditional air runs through these tunes. If they’re not old-English inspired they are closer to Appalachian folklore with a generous pop tint & excellent lyrics.
What Far From Saints do well is make each tune sparkle with its creativity & vocalizations. All of their melodies have a traditional delicacy that makes for a delicious listen. The strings that are added are never heavy-handed, but frame the tunes in a pristine way.
Highlights – “Screaming Hallelujah,” “Take It Through The Night,” “Let’s Turn This Back Around” & “Let the Light Shine On You,” “Faded Black Tattoo,” & “The Ride.”
Color image courtesy of Sophia French. CD @ https://farfromsaintsband.com/