Back in 2019, Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker, of The Wind And The Wave, were supporting Kelly Jones, of Stereophonics, on his UK solo tour, where they would cover Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s Stop Dragging My Heart Around each night, before they began playing and writing together in their downtime. These downtime sessions would lead to the formation of Far From Saints and heading to the studio to record their self-titles debut album either side of the tour legs. Fast forward from 2019 to 2023 and, following the release of their debut track Let’s Turn This Back Around and an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall, their album is coming out June 16th. We caught up with the trio to find out what can expect from the new group.
We are really excited for the debut Far From Saints album, and you’ve had a couple of warm-up shows already. How have the shows been going so far? Patty – They went really well. They were historically different from one another but both of the were a hell of a lot of fun. Kelly – One felt like a rehearsal with people, and one felt like the Albert Hall! It was pretty surreal, but it felt really good. It was amazing that everyone had taken their seats by 7:30 as we thought we would be playing to a half empty room, but everyone was in. We actually shot half the video in the soundcheck, so we were dressed for the set for that, so it almost felt like we had been on stage once already. We should probably do that every gig – dress rehearsals mid-afternoon! Dwight – We just need to play a place like the Albert Hall every night and it doesn’t matter if there’s 5 people or 5,000. Kelly – It felt natural to be playing there.
People may not realise, but despite only just doing your first shows in recent weeks, Far From Saints has really been about three years in the making. K – The record was done at the end of the solo tour I was doing. We did twenty dates, split over two legs, and we wrote all the songs in and amongst that tour in dressing rooms, emails, voice memos and all that kind of stuff. We decided to record at the end in a little studio in Wiltshire and then send some tracks overnight to friends in Nashville so they could add some bits and pieces. The record came together really fast as it was done within about 9 or 10 days and that was in 2019. The world then stopped, and we’ve been sitting on it ever since. It feels good in a way and feels like the right time to bring the record out. How did it work bringing your different influences together in the song writing process? K – By not talking about it! We had an idea what the music would be, but we didn’t have any idea of what the lyrics would be. D – Just letting the songs be the guide itself. They were trading lyrics back and forth and Patty was deciphering my mumbled mouth stuff and it was pretty easy as Kelly has such a way from his soul to the page that he writes really quickly, and Patty is a very crafted writer. I’m used to sending something to Patty to work and she will send it back in a couple of days, and you send it to Kelly and six minutes late he will send you back the second verse! It’s been interesting for all of us to see how each of us works.
How did work with arranging the lyrics to fit it all together? K – A lot would be done there and then – which I’ve never done before. Patty would be on the floor with a pen and paper, and she may start with something that she had, and I would throw a line out. Dwight would be playing it on the guitar, and we would write that down and see if it sticks and rhymes. Then we would have a ten-minute joke about my accent and her accent and how we rhyme differently and what word actually makes sense! P – I don’t have an accent; you have an accent!! K – Some songs would be sent via email after a late-night travel on a bus, but we never actually discussed what the songs were about. We could sense there might be a title and we would fit something around that or if I wrote three lines, Patty would follow with something of a similar sentiment which meant something to her. I don’t think we ever sat back and had a conversation to see what it meant for you and you, it was kind of like they all became a conversation from two people’s perspective and maybe not even always about the same subject. The themes though still seemed to match. D - I’m not sure it really even matters. I’ve always thought songs are really selfish until other people listen and put their own take on what it means to them anyway, I think Kelly having his own perspective and Patty having her own perspective and then me having another one – or not having any idea what it’s about – is all ok too. K – I think listening to it as a fan over the last few years I’ve actually interpreted lots of things that Patty or Dwight were singing that I probably didn’t when I was co-writing the record. P – I was feeling something at the moment when I wrote it down, but now when I listen to it I’m coming to it from a different perspective four years later and I’m hearing it differently and the song means something different to me now. Do you think about things like rhyming when you’re writing, or does it come more naturally? K – I don’t think about it. It’s more about following each other’s line. I could say a word and Patty could follow it, but in my accent, I say it a particular way and Patty wouldn’t be able to rhyme with it because the way she sings is slightly different – it became a running joke about my grammar and Patty’s grammar. D – it’s a running joke in Nashville that we all wish we could say “again” because if we could say it then it’s such a great word to rhyme with words like “rain” but the way we say “again” all we have is “when” and “then,” so it’s just not as good!
The debut album is coming in June, are you in countdown mode for the release? P: I might have to now as I wasn’t counting yet! I’ll have to look at the calendar! D: It feels like I’ve been counting for a thousand days! K: I think to have it coming out amongst the very eclectic range of shows we’ve coming up it’ll be great to play to such a variety of audiences every night and see how people respond to it. We’re pretty much going to be playing the whole record live, as that’s all you’ve got on your debut album! You play your album and a couple of Tom Petty covers before heading to the bar.
You are throwing yourself out there with some big festival dates including Glastonbury and Black Deer. How do you think people will take to as in this new set-up? D: I think they come for Kelly, and they stay for Patty! They know who Kelly is and people are always curious about what he’s doing. He’s a giant in the UK, so I think there’s some expectations that come with that for us to deliver. To me it’s another show but it’s interesting to watch Kelly and Patty figure out how they want to interact on stage and be around each other as it’s different when there’s two people with a microphone and can talk. They need to know who says what when and who should say certain things. I like the shows to see what chaos may or may not happen! It’s also fun to see Kelly nervous, as I’ve watched him with Stereophonics a hundred times, and they are so pro about their shows, so it’s interesting to watch him be nervous about this stuff as it is a different thing. Talking of nerves, where the nerves creeping in once you got to release the debut single? K: It had had a few false starts. We did a video that nobody wanted so then we had to do another video, which made it feel like it was all going to fall apart again and then we finally made the video. I assumed the first song was going to be a taste maker as it’s five and half minutes, and then Bob Harris played it on his country show, and then Jo Whiley played it every night for two and a half weeks. A song we thought was never going to be on the radio, suddenly became this radio song and was getting played all over. It went from nervousness to this is really exciting as people were taking to it the way that we hoped they would, and it was received in its own right. I’m now certainly more excited than nervous as I think the record feels like a strong, beautiful record, and playing live we are very present because I’ve got to concentrate on so many things! D: it’s a difficult record to play too as there’s a lot of vocals; a lot of lyrics; a lot of difficult guitar parts; you have to be dialled in
When bringing two different musical backgrounds together, how did you choose the direction of the band’s sound? K: I was a big fan of their first record, and I heard Dwight play a lot of finger-picking guitar on the tour – which is something I’ve always wanted to be able to play – and I think the only musical thing we joked about was that Dwight would be Lindsey Buckingham and I would be Jack White, so it was acoustic/ electric. With the voices we let the songs dictate what happened after that and that was more banter than anything serious. All we had was the two voices and the acoustic/ electric element. We didn’t want big drum kits, we wanted to be a lot more organic in some elements. Songs tell you how it needs to be produced and if you try to steer them, they so no and go a different direction and you have to follow the song. P: After a while, we sat back and could see there was a feeling, there was a similar vibe throughout it and continuity. There were three or four other songs that didn’t make the cut on this record – not because they weren’t good but just because we felt like those songs pulled you out of the feeling you wanted to stay in. it made itself this way.
Far From Saints self-titled debut album will be released on 16th June 2023 available on CD, LP and digital formats - pre-order / pre-save HERE.