Rising UK artist Lucy Crisp explores her life and journey as a young person with cystic fibrosis on her engrossing debut EP 65 Roses
On her powerful and moving debut EP 65 Roses, emerging Midlands artist Lucy Crisp does a really great job of establishing her affable indie pop sound, but more importantly herself, a young person in the UK living with cystic fibrosis, and the challenges and hurdles that come with the condition. The EP takes on the name 65 Roses as it is an easier way to say the name of the condition that people are sometimes taught as a child. Lucy does a lot of campaigning for attitudes towards hidden disabilities and mental adversities to change, and while the collection of tracks are primarily written about her own experiences, the EP is dedicated Claire Wineland, an American Cystic Fibrosis activist, author and social media personality who sadly lost her life at just 21.
The first track on the EP is ‘One Summer’s Day’, an optimistic and warm track that is packed full of cute little sonic intricacies and endearing moments. The energy and drive of the track makes for a really uplifting and charming listen throughout, evoking feelings of a carefree and euphoric summer at a time where things feel like anything but that through her vivid imagery and immersive soundscape.
‘Locked Down’ is a track that feels liberating and cathartic, with themes surrounding breaking free from whatever confines you find yourself in and making a break for it alongside a gloriously synthy backdrop. Whether you interpret the lyrics as being physically locked down or mentally locked down by her aforementioned conditions and ailments, the end result still feels deeply resonating and powerful, and provides just one of a plethora of inspiring and memorable moments throughout the EP.
Mental health is explored further on the EP’s third track ‘Call Me’, a poignant and heartfelt narrative about the importance of opening up to the people around you and speaking candidly about how you feel and about how things are affecting you. The more subdued pace of the track and the stirring way that it builds create a really atmospheric feel throughout, with the artist’s endearing vocal style and reassuring lyrics providing a warm blanket that feels engrossing and authentic, and hopefully implores listeners to reach out to loved ones in similar fashion.
A powerful spoken word interlude in the form of ‘Normal Life’ melds seamlessly into ‘I Deserve Better’, a track about a messy friendship breakup that sees the artist pouring her heart out alongside a engaging distorted guitars and a pulsating rhythm section. The rallying cry of “I deserve better, you deserve better, we deserve better” aptly sums up the conclusion of this inseparable bond gone awry, concluding another rousing and emotionally charged track on an album full of them.
The emotional apex of the EP however, comes in the form of closer ‘I Miss You’, a sentimental track that instantly hits you with its slow-burning aesthetic and the sheer gravity and atmosphere of its narrative and style. The track serves as a tribute to all of the families and people affected by losing somebody due to cystic fibrosis, with the life-threatening condition responsible for so much suffering and hardship both for people afflicted with it and the people that surround them. The track feels as melodic and stirring as it does impactful throughout, and provides a sobering climax to the album and a harrowing reminder of the stakes of the condition, tying the EP together and bringing focus to its central theme.
The EP as a whole is a masterful showcase of Lucy Crisp and her sound and style, built around her life as a young person with cystic fibrosis but expanding upon her experiences both related and unrelated to the condition. The end result is a fleshed out picture of the artist’s world that is packed full of thoughtful imagery, earnest honesty and what is hopefully an eye-opening journey for many listeners who can learn a little bit more about the condition and its challenges. 65 Roses does a great job of championing a cause close to the artist’s heart while simultaneously highlighting the alluring glow of her musicality and charismatic appeal, and bodes well for the future of an artist who is only going to continue to grow into her talent as a songwriter and storyteller.