If watching X Factor is your guilty secret then you might remember Janet Devlin. She came to prominence in the eight series, alongside Little Mix. She had a unique voice and style that seemed different from the typical acts on the show. The audience warmed to her personality and talent, meaning she topped the public vote more times than any other act that season and was tipped as a potential winner. However, she was voted off after her mentor, Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child, felt unable to chose between two of her protegees.
One unexpected consequence of being instantly shot to fame was coming to the attention of Courtney Love, who claimed that Devlin was distantly related to Kurt Cobain and publicly offered the option of singing a Nirvana song on the show if she wanted to! She also got to work with prominent musicians like Newton Faulkner in the years after the series.
Devlin’s back singing about her own guilty secrets with the song Confessional. As we’ve been focusing on videos recently, we’re particularly impressed with the use of space, angles and perspective to convey the sense of surveillance, vulnerability and claustrophobia within a confessional booth.
The song foregrounds Devlin’s Irish heritage with uilleann pipes, accordion, fiddles, bodhrán, cow’s ribs, whistles and drums backing her voice.
“If it doesn’t sound like an obvious single, it’s because it’s not meant to. It’s a glimpse of what’s to come. I’ve essentially created a concept album, everything is on the table and laid bare,” Devlin explained.
Confessional is a shot across the bow ahead of the approach of her second record – the concept album centred on honesty and reconciliation – which is due out in April 2020.