US artist, John Vento, has just released his latest single, Sweet Cheslie, and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Sweet Cheslie is a simple, acoustic singer-songwriter/Folk track that will appeal to fans of Bob Dylan.
Starting the song with acoustic guitar chord strums and just a touch of incidental guitar, Sweet Cheslie sets the mood of the song quickly. When the vocals come in, they’re just the right style for the song – Bob Dylan-esque and almost spoken word in places. They’re here to tell a story.
Some pleasant backing harmonies come in in the chorus and then continue in places into the second verse. By the time the second chorus comes around, a simple pattern of bass and drums has joined the mix.
For a song of this style, it isn’t the melody, the chord sequence, the instrumentation or the production that should be the focus. It’s the story. Sweet Cheslie is written with the aim of bringing awareness to Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Sweet Cheslie is the story of the tragic death of Cheslie Kryst. Kryst was crowned Miss USA in 2019. Also an attorney and a correspondent for Extra, she was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards. On the surface, a highly accomplished and successful woman.
On January 30, 2022, Kryst jumped to her death from 350 West 42nd Street, a 60-story high-rise apartment building in Midtown Manhattan, where she resided. Her mother later described her as suffering from “high functioning depression”
Kudos to Vento for writing a song about such a tragic loss. We hope that this song raises awareness and understand of such a hot topic.
From a production perspective, a large boost around 60-70Hz would bring up the kick drum when it comes in. The acoustic guitar is peaking a little at 100Hz and 200Hz so a couple of surgical EQ cuts here would help to reduce those tones. The whole track could use a wide boost across the high mids and highs centred around 6-7kHz with an additional high shelf boost in the top octave. This would add some brightness and overall balance to the track. The vocal track is a little dominant in a couple of places in the low mids resulting in a slightly muddy feel. A couple of cuts around 100-150Hz and again around 250-300Hz would help to make the track a little clearer.
Sweet Cheslie is a song which lovers of Bob Dylan and folk/singer-songwriter fans will be drawn to. As with all good folk songs, the story behind the song is bigger than the music. Kudos to Vento for writing a song about such a tragic loss. We hope that this song raises awareness and understand of such a hot topic.