Humanity Hallows Issue 4 Out Now!
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In the run up to Christmas, our Frankie Richardson interviews singer/songwriter Janet Devlin about her festive new EP Little Lights.
By Frankie Richardson
Janet Devlin’s energy is infectious as she tells me that she absolutely doesn’t remember the last time she had a lie in or a day off, her excitement about her upcoming tour clear. “I’m just so busy pre-tour. It’s this time you have to get all the boring stuff done, so I’m just doing that and then I can go off and have fun.”
Janet’s new EP Little Lights is a gorgeous, melodic festive treat, bringing together Janet’s distinctive folk vocal with enough Christmas cheer to just ease you into that holiday feeling. “We’re not quite there yet, I know, so hopefully it didn’t make you feel too Christmassy!” she jokes.
I ask Janet if we can expect a full Christmas theme from the live shows. “Well, there’s new material no one’s ever heard, and there’s also two EPs of Christmas songs, so I’ll pick the best ones! The show will probably get more festive as we get closer to Christmas.” Which means there’s a treat in store for us in December as Janet heads to the Deaf Insitute in Manchester.
This is Janet’s second Christmas EP. Has this one had different influences or reasoning behind it? Janet says she never listens back to her own work, so it wasn’t until she went home last Christmas and her parents played the first EP that she decided there was room to do more: “Being self-critical as I am, I realized that I’d missed out a lot of moods here. Christmas is an emotional roller-coaster, up and down constantly, and I wanted to capture those feelings, to show that it isn’t all wrapping paper and eggnog.”
In ‘Merry Christmas Mum and Dad’, Janet gives a touching tribute to her parents and the Christmases they gave her as a child, her young niece and the return of Santa to the Devlin family Christmas bringing her fond memories: “We weren’t well off or anything, and my parents always managed to make Christmas so wonderful, and I don’t know how they did it – and then they never took any credit for any of it because it was all from ‘Santa’.”
The song is a beautiful thank you note, and Janet is very much looking forward to being home again for Christmas after her tour: “The last show’s in my home town! So, after the show, I can just walk down the street to the pub and have a few drinks, and then that’s me home for Christmas!”
After Christmas, Janet is back to rehearsals and writing for her forthcoming second album: “I’m basically writing all the way through January. I’ve already got about 50 songs but it’s gonna be a conceptual album so all the songs have to fit a brief. There’s about ten that I’m happy with, but I feel like I need more.”
If you’re not already getting into the Christmas spirit, you soon will be.
‘My Opium’ Tour:
Wed 23 Nov Old Fire Station, Carlisle
Thu 24 Nov Beat Generator Live!, Dundee
Fri 25 Nov The Electric Circus, Edinburgh
Sat 26 Nov The Tunnels, Aberdeen
Sun 27 Nov The Cluny, Newcastle Upon-Tyne
Thu 1 Dec Worthing Pier, Worthing
Fri 2 Dec Drift Southsea, Portsmouth
Sat 3 Dec South Devon Arts Centre, Totnes
Sun 4 Dec Convent, Gloucester
Thu 8 Dec Union Chapel, London
Fri 9 Dec The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Sat 10 Dec Platform , Lincoln
Wed 14 Dec Empire Music Hall, Belfast
Fri 16 Dec Strule Arts Centre, Omagh