- 20 Oct 21
The Irish-Bangladeshi artist offers an intimately autobiographical debut album .
London is very much in the DNA of Joy Crookes’ long-awaited debut album Skin. The Irish-Bangladeshi singer has an incredible gift for storytelling, and this album is an autobiographical body of work – a collection of songs written by Crookes from the ages of 15 to 21, covering subjects from relationships and generational trauma to abuse of power and mental health.
Skin is also very much about Crookes’ identity. “Biologically, it is one of the strongest parts of our bodies,” she says of the title. “However, socially and externally it is often used against us.” Identity goes so much deeper than skin, though, and she explores love and politics just as much as her London/Irish/Bangladeshi roots. Crookes takes blistering aim at the UK government on the retro-flavoured bop ‘Kingdom’, while tracks like ‘Theek Ache’ (a Bangla phrase translating as “it’s okay”) and ‘I Don’t Mind’ touch on late nights of too much drink and casual sex.
The tracks are interspersed with voice notes and recordings – like the elevator announcements from her grandmother’s block of flats preceding ‘19th Floor’ – which act as a lovely homage to her roots. As debuts go, Skin is a searingly intimate offering from a masterful instrumentalist and songwriter.
Stand out track: ‘Poison’
Skin by Joy Crookes is out now - listen below.