Far From Saints
Far From Saints
There are few phenomena more powerful and mysterious than two voices naturally drawn together. When Kelly Jones and Patty Lynn met backstage during a U.S. tour in 2013, they hardly knew each other but sensed an undeniable musical chemistry. Six years later, they proved their theory in a U.K. studio — and Far From Saints were born.
An entirely new band with a cross-genre sound that will appeal to fans of country, rock, folk, soul, and Americana, Far From Saints debut with an indelible album of 10 expertly crafted songs that touch on themes of love, perseverance, self-doubt, and self-healing. It’s a record that, much like the band itself, was created over an unadulterated love of music and collaboration. Far From Saints is honest, real, and brimming with integrity.
It all started with a Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks cover.
For his 2019 solo tour, Kelly Jones — leader of the legendary Welsh band Stereophonics — enlisted Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker’s Austin group The Wind and the Wave to open. They all knew each other after touring together in 2013, but this time the musical magnetism was too strong not to explore.
“I’d watch them from the side of the stage and I knew that our voices would work very well together,” Kelly says. “So we tested it out doing a cover of ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,’ which was fucking great.
Everybody loved it.”
In backstage hallways, dressing rooms, and hotels, Kelly, Patty and Dwight went on to trade musical touchstones, talk influences, and harmonize together. Soon, they were writing songs too. The band knew they had discovered something magical and, most of all, effortless.
“There was never a project planned,” Kelly says. “One night, Patty and Dwight walked off stage and I said, ‘We’ve got to do something together.’ The next day we sang something in a dressing room and it just formed from there. We booked two recording sessions, one at the end of each leg of the tour, and we did the whole album in nine days.”
Patty underscores just how casually Far From Saints came into existence — when she and Kelly first met, she didn’t know who he was. “I think that was helpful because I wasn’t nervous, like, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to write with Kelly motherfucking Jones,’ you know? It wasn’t like that,” she says. “Kelly and I were just two artists in similar spots, in that we were both ready to try something new.”
But while Far From Saints was ready to make its debut, the universe had other plans. Shortly after finishing the LP in the fall of 2019, the pandemic struck, delaying the album indefinitely. “We were an ocean apart after the pandemic hit,” Kelly says, “and the record sat on a shelf for nearly two years.”
Despite the unexpected gestation period, Far From Saints, produced by the band and mixed by Al Clay, has lost none of its impact. The record vibrates with intensity, anchored by Kelly and Patty’s striking vocals and Kelly’s crisp guitar style. It arrives at exactly the right moment, as a balm for troubled times.
“A death and reborn, what was is now gone/the version of you, I knew, has grown butterfly wings and flown,” Kelly sings in the album’s opening track “Screaming Hallelujah,” a call-and-response arrangement that highlights the easy bond between the two singers. “I don’t doubt you/with your heart on the line,” Patty answers, “Just leave it up to the universe/I know we’ll get there in time.”
Beginning with a gentle acoustic riff that Dwight came up with on their very first day in the studio,
“Screaming Hallelujah” is a message of acceptance and grace toward a fellow human being going through a difficult period of transition. “I was thinking about how we should try to grow right along with them,” Patty says of the lyrical theme, “because they’re still here.”
Adds Kelly, “It’s about change and growth, but with all the struggles that come with that. With every song I write, I try to write about the whole struggle but leave a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Most importantly, “Screaming Hallelujah” lit the path for how Kelly and Patty would sound together. “One thing I hadn’t done before was sing with a voice like Patty’s,” Kelly says. “I’ve always just been at the front of a rock & roll band and that’s a very different approach to singing.”
Still, a rock aesthetic is very much a part of Far From Saints. The songs “The Ride” and “Take It Through the Night” each boast muscular rhythms and fierce solos.
A bluesy song about persevering through a fraught existence, “The Ride” chugs along with a stomp-andclap intro and Kelly and Patty’s gritty harmonies. “It’s a terrible life,” they sing in the chorus, “but it’s a hell of a ride.” “Life can be terrible,” Patty explains, “but it’s not all bad. Songs need that glimmer of hope.”
“Take It Through the Night” features shades of Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, and even American Southern rock.
A brawny guitar solo is contrasted with “Kashmir”-like strings, while Patty, who wrote the bulk of the lyrics, subtly changes the chorus in each line from “take it through to the night” to “aching through the night” and, finally, to “make it through the night.” It’s such attention to detail that highlights her command of the craft. “Patty went upstairs and wrote the whole lyric herself,” says Kelly, who painstakingly dissected and reassembled the track’s multiple guitar parts with Dwight. “I had a tiny part of a blues riff and Dwight ran away with it and turned the chorus into a bit of an Eagles and Joe Walsh vibe. We were just in fucking guitar mode. We were trying to make an Allman Brothers record with that one.”
But Far From Saints is often at its most compelling during its quieter moments. Kelly and Patty know precisely when to pull back their voices. In the country-flavored “Let’s Turn This Back Around,” they ruminate on the loved ones they leave behind when on tour and how that alters a relationship. It’s a true musical conversation told from two distinct points of view.
“‘Let’s Turn This Back Around’ particularly lends itself to being a duet,” Kelly says.
“It was important to us to have both perspectives in that song,” Patty says.
In the gorgeous, acoustic number “Faded Black Tattoo,” the band compare a broken heart that you can never fully forget to the titular body art. Dwight came up with the song on his guitar while simultaneously mumbling words in a melody. When he sang the phrase “you’re an alien,” Patty’s ears perked up.
“That’s a very typical thing that happens with Far From Saints,” she says. “Dwight will be presenting an idea and will sing a melody, and I’ll take what I’m hearing out of that and jot it down.”
While Far From Saints may be a proper band, the project allows room for each of its members to add their own musical personality. For Kelly, that means a long history with classic rock, soul, and blues, while Patty is shaped by her love of indie rock and Nineties country music, and Dwight by Southern and hard rock. But none of the players ever intentionally tried to steer the album.
“My favorite thing to do every day is create and write, but it’s really nice to do it with other people,” Dwight says. “I could spit out a bunch of cool guitar ideas and only worry about trying to perfect the guitar part, because Patty and Kelly will add their own thing to it. I love co-writing for that reason.”
“We never really said to each other, ‘What are we writing about here?’ It was much more about chasing an atmosphere and sentiment,” Kelly says. “When the record was finished, it all felt so easy. I could stand back and listen to it as an audience member.”
“Being a songwriter in a band can feel heavy for me sometimes, knowing that I have to finish a song and it’s all my responsibility to write the words,” Patty says. “But we left space for each other to do our own thing. I enjoyed sharing ownership of that process with Kelly.”
With the album finally ready to be heard, Far From Saints are looking ahead to playing the songs live for fans — and they’re excited to learn exactly who those fans might be. Kelly, Patty and Dwight are anticipating the new ears that will discover Far From Saints.
“It’s an album and it’s meant to be listened to from start to finish. That’s what I’d like for people to do,” Patty says. “Listen to the whole thing and see it as a complete work on its own.”