The Happiest Demons You Ever Heard
With so much music around these days and so many ways of accessing it, it is inevitable I suppose that you are going to miss some fantastic artists. This makes an accidental discovery all the more welcome. For me, that discovery took me to Irish singer Janet Devlin. Now some of you may remember her from the X Factor although my kids had drifted away from the show by 2011 when she appeared. Her first album called ‘Running with Scissors’ was released in 2014 to a lot of critical acclaim. For me though she is a totally fresh artist in both senses of that phrase.
Her latest track is called ‘Holy Water’ and is the final track to be released prior to her forthcoming album ‘Confessional’ which is accompanied by a book called ‘My Confessional’. Both the book and the album look at Devlin’s struggles with mental health and the 12 songs that are contained on the album are unlocked and expanded upon in the book. Her approach which required her to develop both alongside each other is truly incredible for such a young artist.
‘Holy Water’ itself is an utterly joyful tune that contrasts very effectively with the darker elements of the lyrics. The music is very traditionally Irish but her voice has an innocence and soulfulness that makes it immediate and contemporary. The lyrics in the first verse talk about her approach to her demons and one couplet in particular stands out as an example of the quality of writing; ‘I had to share my sorrow
And treat it like a son’. It is a beautiful evocation of the way she has approached her struggles and the reason why she has come out of the other side as well as she has. The chorus is a thing of beauty that makes you want to dance and listen at the same time. She makes it an uplifting singalong, but she almost begs ‘Holy water save me, holy water save me. Holy water save me from myself’. It is so cleverly juxtaposed that you almost miss it, but that seems to be the point, to look back at the past to learn lessons but to look ahead to the future aware of how much potential you have.
I am very pleased to have discovered Janet Devlin and I am really looking forward, not only to the ‘Confessional’ album but also to the music that this amazing young artist will produce in the future. Slàinte!