SINGLE REVIEW: Reckless by Deva St. John
London-born Deva St. John kickstarts 2021 with her first solo single in almost two years - and it's a fucking belter. Shimmering with a 90's-influenced rock twinge and Deva's mighty vocals, Reckless is a hidden gem that'll have you wondering why the fuck isn't this song being played everywhere?
Born in London to American parents and raised in Berkshire, Deva St. John’s music is a bridge between the soundscapes of American pop culture and the British rock scene. With her lo-fi alt-rock production and gnarly vocals, Deva lyrically presents herself as an artist who channels her sensitivities into songs to express something fundamentally timeless: a yearning dissatisfaction. Taking her frustrations out in the form of authentic lyricism, fierce vocals, and raging instrumentals, Deva St. John's songs are rock n roll in its purest form. And latest release Reckless is just that.
Since the release of her bluesy debut single Afterlife in 2018, Deva has continued to prove herself as fiery force determined to climb her way up the ranks of the UK rock scene. Following her debut release, Deva exploded onto the London gig circuit, using her dynamic stage presence and impressive vocals to captivate crowds.
2019 saw the release of third single The Information Age, a clever, vibrant eruption of vigorous attitude packaged in an alt-rock banger. It was followed by XV, a collaboration alongside fellow musician and long-term partner, Split The Dealer, which offered a different side to future rockstar as Deva leant more into contemporary pop with this slow-build release.
Now, Deva makes a blazing comeback with her first solo single since The Information Age. With some twinkling guitar and steady drums, Reckless brings recognisable 90's influences, reminiscent of an Alanis Morissette-esque anthem. The song builds in tension until it bursts into a powerful chorus where Deva's commanding vocals, hefty guitars and percussion melt into each other. Her frustrations and anxieties seep through into her voice, tightly wrapped in an unforgettable rock tune.
Lyrically, Reckless voices Deva's experiences growing up as a working actor, feeling trapped in an environment where she couldn't explore her own identity. In such a demanding industry, acting seemed to drain Deva until she decided to take a chance on pursing a music career, hence the title Reckless stemming from her bold choice to shift her career into rock music - and we're so glad she did. Reckless encapsulates all that angsty alt-rock goodness that you need from a song about escaping a damaging environment and throwing caution to the wind to follow your rockstar dreams.
Deva St. John has started 2021 off strong, but this is just the beginning of the next chapter for her. With new music already scheduled for release in the spring, we can't wait to see what Deva St. John brings next. In the meantime, we'll be blasting Reckless on repeat to keep us going.
Review by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Rebecca Need-Menear