South London soul singer Joy Crookes has been stealing hearts and minds since she debuted a few years ago. After a string of anticipation-building singles and EPs, she’s finally announced that her debut album, Skin, will be out on October 15 through Insanity Records. She’s also shared the title track, saying:
“Out of all the songs I have ever written I think ‘Skin’ is the most important to me. It is simple musically and lyrically, the lyrics are literal and self explanatory: ‘The skin that you’re given, was made to be lived in. You’ve got a life, you’ve got a life, worth living’.
“It exists for anyone who needs reassurance and hope. Mental health is something everyone has to deal with to varying degrees, and in particular the last 18 months have taken their toll. I wrote this song for a loved one last year who was at a stage where he thought his life was no longer worth living. I hope the song offers something to everyone battling with their demons and the people around them who are supporting them.”
With her impossibly rich voice draped over simple piano chords, an aura of romance is immediately established in “Skin” – but there’s also a tenderness that speaks to the vulnerability on display. Crookes may have written the song for one person in particular, but in the way she sings “The skin that you’re given, was made to be lived in / You’ve got a life, you’ve got a life, worth living” is so gorgeous and open-hearted that it encompasses the whole world. Add to that a drizzle of cinematic strings, and “Skin” is an absolute knockout.