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Music

Lucy Spraggan Opts for a Positive Outlook on 'Today Was a Good Day'

Photo: Andy Gannon / Reybee

Today Was a Good Day captures Lucy Spraggan's profound happiness and sincere love. For Spraggan, these are the necessary components for personal fulfillment while also serving as the tenants for a stellar album.

Today Was a Good Day
Lucy Spraggan

Cooking Vinyl

3 May 2019

Lucy Spraggan opens her heart in her fifth studio album Today Was a Good Day. The album brims with positivity, reverence, and love: indelible reflections of the artist's current ethos. Beginning as an open-mic performer, Spraggan was just 19 years old when she performed on The X Factor. Her single, "Last Night", subsequently landed in the top 20 on the UK charts. She's since cultivated millions of YouTube views and Spotify streams, and Today Was a Good Day will certainly continue to expand her fan base. As her celebrity grows, Today Was a Good Day offers a glimpse into the artist's contentment and euphoria.

As demarcated by the album's title, Spraggan is unapologetically positive throughout Today Was a Good Day. She has a penchant for spinning a negative situation and finding the glimmer of beauty despite the quagmire. In "End of the World", for example, a meteor is on a path to collide with and destroy the earth. Despite humanities end, Spraggan maintains her contentment and calls to "turn up the music / I've loved you so truly / Don't panic now / We're alright." The pending catastrophe is completely secondary to Spraggan's focus on the present and the love she feels and returns.

"End of the World" even musically features the annihilation, as the instruments and lyrics break and the static signifies the demise. However, Spraggan is determined to not end the song on the negative. Her voice reemerges to complete the track with the lyrics "I was so lucky to be there with you / No one I'd have preferred / And we weren't concerned / It was just you and me and the end of the world." Certainly hyperbolic but also a touching sentiment suggesting love's bond remains despite the collapse of the metaphysical.

Humanities' end is indeed devastating, but Spraggan realizes there are also quotidian aggravations to assess. "Love Is the Best Revenge" and "Don't Play This on the Radio" redress the critics who tried to oppose her musical trajectory. Spraggan's acknowledges those who "said I wouldn't make it on my own / But they don't get to write the end." But she maintains her resolve and is enlivened when she sings "I am just here to say I told you so." Spraggan's resilience reemerges in "Breathe" when she outlines her fears and takes pride in her mistakes. These tracks and Today Was a Good Day from start to finish, are reminiscent of the Buddhist belief in positive shame. Buddhist teachings and Spraggan herself reject the negative shame cultivating guilt and stress. Instead, she embraces the importance of learning from the missteps as the only true way to growth.

Today Was a Good Day also serves as a reminder to listeners to be mindful of their own mental health and take heed of those who are suffering. Spraggan wrote "Stick the Kettle On" in support of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), an UK-based organization focused on preventing male suicide. Here Spraggan examines alienation and the unhelpful suggestion "to man up" as factors leading to suicide. She uses the chorus, however, to resist loneliness and construct a makeshift community for those who feel friendless and struggling with depression. She assures listeners, "And if you're low / You're not alone / I hope you know."

The emotional and personal growth Spraggan explores is only achievable with a cadre of supporters and those willing to shower the musician with unconditional love. Spraggan devotes pages of the LP's liner notes to "the wonderful people that enabled [Spraggan] to write and record these records". Spraggan's sense of gratitude radiates throughout her music as well. "Thanks for Choosing Me" and "Lucky Stars" finds Spraggan meditating on the love and support offered by her wife. Spraggan ensures her "as long as we have good advice/ Open minds and butterflies / I am sure we will be OK." Whereas "Dinner's Ready" illustrates Spraggan's mother's devotion and full love. Spraggan misses her mother's "decisions and hearing you say / Hurry up / Don't be late / It's on the side / Your dinner's ready." It's these small moments that create memories, and for Spraggan the memories become endearing music.

Today Was a Good Day captures Spraggan's profound happiness and sincere love. For Spraggan, these are the necessary components for personal fulfillment while also serving as the tenants for a stellar album.

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