“Sweet Cheslie” is an incredibly unique entry in John Vento’s discography. Like many other John Vento songs, it carries with it a message that’s poignant and powerful. Where “Sweet Cheslie” differs however is in how it references other more serious topics. In this case, it’s dedicated to the real and tragic death of one Cheslie Kryst, who was crowned Miss USA 2019.
Cheslie Kryst was a model who represented the USA in the Miss Universe 2019 competition, and was generally seen as a warm and positive person. Unfortunately, she would go on to commit suicide, with her mother releasing a statement about Chelsie’s high-functioning depression. It was a tragedy, one that went unchecked and could have prevented if the circumstances were better.
As such, John Vento has decided to make “Sweet Cheslie,” as a tribute to the artist. It was released to coincide with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and as such it’s comforting but intriguingly dark. As is the case with many John Vento songs, the new single is warm and nostalgic, but the underlying darkness bleeds through in subtle ways that keep your attention.
Thankfully, the topic is handled with tact and care, with most of the song being in reminiscence more than in regret. It’s an ode to how depression is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with carefully and thoughtfully. Letting it go unaddressed can only cause bad outcomes, and this is in full focus on “Sweet Cheslie.”
Musically we can’t find much fault in how the single plays out. The songwriting here is once again tinted with a nostalgic vibes, and it of course fits John Vento’s musical style. His sound is grounded, and that only adds to the overall sadness and tragedy of the song. It plays to the artist’s strengths, and it results in a song that’s quite memorable.
Production here is fantastic, once again playing to the strengths of John Vento himself. His voice gets elevated through the mix, while the instrumentals stay calm and collected. They’re slightly recessed into the background so that the storytelling can take center stage, a bold choice that works in favor of the artist.
Overall, John Vento once again impresses with “Sweet Cheslie,” a powerful single with an impactful message behind it. For fans of Americana and country music, we give this one a hearty recommendation. It’s sweet, sentimental and touching in all the best ways, and a highlight for John Vento.