- 21 Jul 20
The singer-songwriter was battle-scarred but smiling at her performance supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Janet Devlin said her new memoir, My Confessional, is “not all miserable, but it definitely covers a few miserable topics.” She listed some of these topics: self harm, depression, anorexia, bulimia, sexual assault, alcoholism, addiction to benzodiazepines and rehab. There’s also “some happiness chucked in there too, obviously,” Devlin added with a grin.
Devlin’s book came out on June 5 alongside an album, titled Confessional. Though the 25-year-old has experienced hardship beyond her years, she was all smiles during her performance on the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions’ Y&E Series. Devlin said she chose to write about her traumas early in life so that her next book could be “happy, joyous, like wow — what a life.” That optimism was palpable in her rich, folk-inflected pop on Friday.
Devlin played several songs off Confessional, which has a track interpreting every chapter of her memoir. She warmed up her audience with a haunting cover of Linkin Park’s ‘Numb’, then launched into ‘Whiskey Lullabies’ — a half-Gaelic track that narrates her descent into alcoholism. Next up was ‘Saints of the Sinners’, which, with its defiant melody, explores Devlin’s history of self-harm. The Belfast native ended with ‘Better Now’, a sensitive, piano-driven ballad on what one cannot take back from addiction, even through recovery.
These songs took listeners through the darkest chapters of Janet Devlin’s life, but her performance supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht still exuded brightness and optimism. You can rewatch it on the Hot Press Instagram below.
Upcoming on the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series:
Tuesday, July 21: SMOOTHBOI EZRA
Tipped as one of the Hot Press 'Hot For 2020' Irish acts, Smoothboi Ezra's stream-of-consciousness lyrics are simple, honest, and a breath of fresh air. The Co. Wicklow artist's music gained the attention of Irish promoters last year, leading to a gig supporting breakout country star Orville Peck and a headlining spot at Whelan’s in December. The ukulele-backed ‘Thinking of You’ has now amassed over a million-and-a-half streams on Spotify.
Wednesday, July 22: SEAMUS HARTY
Tralee's Seamus Harty has rapidly risen from teenage busking sensation to one of the country's most hotly tipped talents. Armed with a powerful voice that belies his young years, Seamus has kept busy during lockdown, recording in his make-shift studio and serenading his neighbours with performances outside his house – the videos of which have been shared widely online.
Thursday, July 23: ROBERT GRACE
A recent signee to Sony Music, singer-songwriter Robert Grace is on course for international stardom. Following a string of well-received releases, he shared his stunning new single, 'Fake Fine' last month. The Kilkenny musician has proven a hit on TikTok too – having clocked up over one million likes on his videos.
The Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is broadcast live at 19:30 every night from the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine).