Faith Over Family is the debut release from James Billett, the man who turned his back on a career in show business ten years ago, and is now back to stake his claim once again.
Taking on the role of a young gay man whose father refuses to put aside his religious beliefs to accept his son the way he is, is Billett, with unique and emotive vocals which will remind listeners of James Taylor and Ray LaMontaigne. The song clearly has its roots in the storytelling tradition of country music, and takes this responsibility very seriously, crafting a narrative that is both beautifully told and wholly unique in its perspectives.
Faith Over Family holds the same energy as a dusty, well-worn and well-loved record, with guitar slides, brushed drums and James’ near-whispered vocal telling a tragic tale of homophobia in our times. Poignantly poetic lines such as “you choose paper over skin again,” ring out long after the song has ended, leaving a lasting impression. The reach of Billett’s influence spans not only music but also politics and activism, all construed through a beautifully understated expulsion of the joys, pain, and frustration which come with being a gay man.
Culminating in the repetition of the lyric “but only you can change… you can change… you can change,” Faith Over Family is not a damning rejection of religious beliefs but a song that holds out hope for a future full of empathy, love, and peace.