Irish alt-pop singer Janet Devlin was thrust into the limelight at the age of sixteen when she became an instant favourite with fans of reality pop show X-Factor. Almost ten years later, and now in her mid-twenties, the Irish singer is releasing her Confessional album, a recording that, as the title suggests, sees Devlin bearing her soul for the world to see.

Opening with the powerful title track, “Confessional” is two minutes of Devlin confessing her sins. Opening up her soul, the Irish singer reveals “I must face what I’ve become” over a pounding soundtrack of Irish folk-pop. It’s a dramatic opener which sets the tone for the rest of the album but one that, once you read Devlin’s back story, becomes crystal clear. Battling everything from anorexia to depression to alcoholism since before her days in X-Factor, Confessional sees the Irish singer not only exposing her core on record but also using this album as a way to finally shake off her troubled past.

A truly honest and, at times, heartbreaking album, the story behind it demonstrates exactly how the kind of stardom that Devlin experienced at such a young age can push one down some truly dark paths. Tracks like “Cinema Screen” play out over a bouncy pop sound, but sees the artist talk about “every mistake I ever made being played out on a cinema screen at the back of my forehead.” “Honest Men,” on the other hand, sees the mood take a darker, more sombre path; one that you feel Devlin has walked down many times over the last few years. On a more upbeat note, “Holy Water” sees Janet talking about “washing away her demons” to a bouncy slice of country/Irish folk.

If you’ve seen any of Janet’s social media posts leading up to this release, you’ll have witnessed the jovial side of her personality and, as the album closes with “Better Now,” you get the feeling that Confessional (and accompanying book) is one that Devlin had to make. While her troubles may never go away, listening to the wonderfully honest Confessional play out, Janet Devlin has certainly slammed shut the door to her past and opened a new one to a (hopefully) brighter, happier future.

Confessional Track Listing:

1. Confessional
2. So Cold
3. Saint of the Sinners
4. Cinema Screen
5. Speak
6. Honest Men
7. Love Song
8. Big Wide World
9. Away With The Fairies
10. Sweet Sacred Friend
11. Holy Water
12. Better Now

Run Time: 41:26
Release Date: June 5, 2020
Record Label: Insomnia Music / OK! Good Records

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.