I am awake at 5 am again. It has been 3 days since I returned home from abroad, but my body is still following a foreign time clock. I kind of like the change. I live in the city, but the birds sing loudly in my neighborhood and provide the most beautiful pre-dawn music. The summer sun arrives later than 5 o’clock, but the sky cascades with color as it eventually finds its way above the horizon. The only downfall I feel is when my eyes flutter closed around five in the afternoon. I struggle to keep them open even when I am busy trying to complete writing about the music I found from London.
You see, I returned home from the most marvelous trip! We spent two weeks visiting London and the English countryside. Once again, I find travel changes me. Experiences along my journey weren’t always easy, but totally worth it. I hope you have the opportunity to travel and make memories this summer. My bank account will suffer for a bit, but the impressions of my travels will live forever in my mind.
While I was abroad, I went to a small live music club (The Moth Club) in a London neighborhood called Hackney. It was a sold out show, but my dear friend in the band put our names on the list. What were the chances we would be in London at the same time? The headline act was Atlantan, Faye Webster She is on an extensive tour right now and a must see! I have shared her incredible music and live performances before, (SEE HERE). Here is a grainy I-phone photo I quickly took.
While there, I met a few Londoners who were mega fans. I always love to meet others in a music venue and then find out who else they enjoy listening to, because we obviously have something in common. In London, on this amazing, serendipitous evening, it seemed way cooler to learn about new music. The group of friends I was chatting with told me several artists that I should check out. So, when I returned to our Air BnB, I had an impressive list of well-loved UK singer/songwriters.
The next day as we were getting ready to head out and tour the city, I played a few of the ones they recommended. I found each artist extremely talented, but one singer and one song stood out for me. I have been playing it on repeat ever since. The song was a ‘must play’ as we flew home. It brought tears to my eyes, because even though I was only there a few weeks, I fell in love with the wondrous city of London. The people were incredibly lovely, the history was legendary, and it was magical, vibrant, and fun. As we flew home to Atlanta, I knew a piece of my heart would always remain in London.
Give it a listen.
Joy Crookes-London Mine
Joy Crookes is a young singer out of London who has an incredible tone and quality to her voice. Some have compared her sound to Amy Winehouse or Billie Holiday, but to me she is distinctly different. Her lyrics speak to her past and her life growing up in London, born to a Bengali mother and a Irish father. Crookes’ songwriting is powerful and provides a thoughtful insight to her world through her eyes and experiences. According to her record label,
“She grew up listening to an eclectic mix of genres – Nick Cave, King Tubby, Kendrick Lamar and Gregory Isaac and as a result she’s curious, passionate and music obsessed – traits that creep into her own creations at every opportunity”.
Crookes was nominated for the Best New Artist and Best Pop/R&B Act at this year’s BRIT Awards. Keep an eye on this one, for sure. It is just a matter of time for her music to find the mainstream in the states.
“London Mine” is a tune from 2019, so if you are obsessed with her music like I am, here is another tune that is newer. “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” is a song of strength and empowerment, from her latest album, Skin.
Joy Crookes-Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
I am thankful we had a wonderful trip and returned home safely. Although I have to admit, I am a little sad the excitement is over. Now, it is time to plan and save for the next adventure!