Lily Brooke Takes Her Chances On New Single ‘Blackjack’

Lily Brooke’s latest track urges against regret with reassurances that life does exist after 21. 

Lily Brooke – Blackjack

‘Blackjack’ is the latest release from alt-pop artist Lily Brooke and the first from her upcoming EP due in May. Coming off the back of a 31.5K strong TikTok following, the track acts as a sonic metaphor, encouraging young people to celebrate life’s milestones. 

Tapping into the post-pandemic zeitgeist that life “ends” after the grand old age of 21, ‘Blackjack’ is a song that lives its life to the full, offering reassurances that there is plenty of life left to be lived after this seemingly bleak milestone. Brooke’s message is to treat this age as a stepping-stone into the next phase of adulthood rather than seeing it as a threshold to cross over into a gloomy, vapid existence.

With hints of the Grange Hill theme tune and following in the footsteps of the wry observational pop stylings of Kate Nash, Lily Allen and more recently Lauran Hibberd, ‘Blackjack’ is a skit of a song that plays out as kooky and fun, when under the surface there is a brooding anxiety that suggests something more serious. 

A cartoonish, quirky synth line kickstarts the tune like an alarm clock going off, with Brooke’s wide-eyed optimism ready to seize the day and make it her own: “Isn’t waking up wonderful and who am I today?”. The music is colourful and vibrant like the bounce of being young and carefree, but a swelling bass line accompanying Brooke’s lyric “Blackjack full-blown panic attack” suggests the apprehension of growing up. The fear of the looming responsibilities of life that causes insomnia to take over from blissful lie-ins – “Isn’t sleeping in wonderful, insomnia’s a fear” – becomes very real for her fans as they reach the 21 mark. 

With ‘Blackjack’ Lily Brooke proves that she knows exactly how her fans tick. Through catchy, quirky pop and poetic lyrics she hooks them in, deconstructs their collective angst and rebuilds it with a new perspective on life and adulthood: “Isn’t growing up wonderful and who am I today?”. She also proves that she is wise beyond her years.

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Words Andrew Gutteridge