James Billett, the man who was, for a while, known as Elton John’s protégé, has just released his new single – ‘Faith Over Family’.
For a record released on the cusp of Pride month, it’s pretty appropriate. In it, Billet takes on the mantle of a gay man whose fundamentally religious father will not accept him. It’s a heartbreaking tale of homophobia and rejection, but also of love and hope in the face of adversity, and ultimately leaves you with a feeling of quiet triumph.
Lyrically, this song is both beautiful and heartbreaking, and paired with Billett’s intelligent songwriting style, sense of melody and folksy arrangement, makes for a truly beautiful release which cements Billett’s name on the scene for future releases. Lines like, “you choose paper over skin again,” ring true well after the song has ended, and the last few lyrics of, “only you can change, you can change, you can change,” are bittersweet and heart-breaking.
Told in Billett’s softly-spoken vocal tone (which sits somewhere between James Taylor and Ray LaMontagne), the song reflects a gentleness and quiet determination which many of us may find comforting at a time like this. As we move into what must be one of the strangest Pride months in living memory, it is important to remember to stay strong, and that this too shall pass.