Janet Devlin just released her second single from her upcoming album set to be unveiled in the spring of 2020. Rising to prominence in 2011 on the UK’s X Factor, Janet released her debut album Running With Scissors in 2015. Since then she has produced several EP’s while working on a new concept album pulling from her Irish heritage. We had the opportunity to speak with Janet about the years-long development of her latest project and what fans can expect alongside the music.
TYF: Your newest single, “Saint of the Sinners” recently came out (on November 1). How did you decide which songs from the album to release as singles?
Janet Devlin: Funnily enough, “Saint of the Sinners” wasn’t meant to be an official single. It’s more of a taster of what’s to come from the album, a bit like what I did with my first release, “Confessional”. “Saint of the Sinners” is one of my favorite tracks and I felt it deserved an airing as it encapsulates the sound of the album so well. With the style of release I’m doing, there are no rules – so it’s fun!
TYF: In your description of the upcoming concept album, you mentioned a companion book that breaks down each song from the album. Will the book accompany the album? What can fans expect of your writing style compared to your song delivery?
Janet Devlin: Yes, currently the aim is for both the album and book to come out at the same time. I would love for people to have the full experience of listening to the track and then reading the corresponding chapter. Because once you read the chapter, you know the full meaning of the song – so it’s going to be interesting to see how people interpret the album versus what they read. As far as my writing style, the main difference is the level of honesty and how direct it is. I usually bathe my songs in metaphors, so in the book, I’ll be laying my soul and my secrets bare by actually revealing the true meaning of the tracks.
TYF: Who are some of your inspirations from rock, traditional Irish, and pop music?
Janet Devlin: As far as my sound goes, I don’t think I consciously draw from any specific influences. When I was younger, bands like the Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Fall Out Boy would inspire me to take music seriously, as not only were they amazing musicians, they also seemed to be having fun too. There are definitely some artists that inspire me to be better – Chris Stapleton inspires me a lot. His attitude towards life, music, and the balance in-between is something I strive for. Also, he is a man of many genres and I think it’s awesome that he’s such a chameleon! The traditional Irish elements are inspired by my family and people in my local area. Also some old tapes my granny had and would listen to as she’d wash the dishes – there were never any names or labels on the cassettes ha! I would say that no one artist has influenced the sound of my album; it’s a mix of my childhood, half-remembered sounds from the radio and what made an impact on me growing up, through to today.
TYF: What other releases, from songs to music videos and photography, can listeners expect between now and the full album’s release in the spring of 2020?
Janet Devlin: I’m planning on releasing a few more singles from the album. It will help round out the concept and the story plus give a flavor for the main event! Each single will have a specially curated photograph – I have absolutely loved this part of the project. I’m also going to be producing a lot more supporting content over on my YouTube channel. So expect stripped-down and acoustic versions of the tracks, behind-the-scenes videos from things like music video shoots and photo shoots, and even podcast-like videos explaining the process of getting the song from an idea to a release.
TYF: How do you know when a body of work is ready for release? What final touches are you working on for the album?
Janet Devlin: I don’t think you ever really know when something like this is ready for release. With this record, by the time it comes out, it’ll have been five years in the making and that also includes the photography and book. So I’m pretty sure everyone can agree it was ready to be born! However, I could still spend an eternity tweaking. I’m getting all the final track masters completed now and submitting final book edits. I did have to ensure I was in a good place before starting the launch of this album though, as a lot of the topics are pretty heavy. I’m am ready now, so the album is too!