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  • Karlee Skipper

EP Review: "not done yet" - Issy Winstanley




Issy Winstanley is ready to take the world by storm with her highly anticipated debut EP, not done yet. On August 25th, the singer released the 4-track project that plays like a musical diary about her life. She aspires to create music that resonates with listeners and provides them comfort and validation. Written during the summer of 2021, the EP highlights the highs and lows in Winstanley’s life at the time, capturing her raw, authentic emotion. not done yet is the perfect soundtrack to the lives of listeners experiencing life, love, and heartache during their 20-something years.


TRACKLIST

for you

black leather boots

never have i ever

shit like that



Issy Winstanley is a Folk-Pop singer-songwriter from the UK. Her musical style mixes the best of country, folk, and modern-pop to create her signature sound. She takes inspiration from soft-pop artists such as Maise Peters, Lizzy McAlpine, and Griff. The artist has been creating music from a young age and began performing live when she was 13-years-old. She has performed at large festivals such as Cornbury, Lakefest, and Witcombe, as well as at well-known venues such as The Sunflower Lounge, The Hare and Hounds, and The Castle and Falcon. Now, she can be found performing throughout London at legendary spots such as Peter Jones, 26 Leake Street, and The Lucky Pig. Additionally, she has been supported by industry tastemakers such as BBC Introducing, CLOUT, Viviplay, and the South West. Prior to not done yet, Winstanley released a live cover album in 2020 entitled Lockdown: Live and three standalone singles, garnering her an impressive following before her first official project.



"for you"

With “for you,” Winstanley kicks off the EP with a heart-wrenching ballad about the inevitable end to a relationship. The melancholic song kicks off with an acoustic guitar riff that sets the somber atmosphere. Immediately, the listener is transported into the singer’s shoes as she paints the scene of an unfaithful partner with the opening line: “I remember waiting up for you// Came home smelling of perfume// Tell me what the hell to do.” As Winstanley's angelic vocals continue through the song, she shares the heartbreaking story of this doomed relationship that was hanging on by a thread. Throughout the track, she utilizes the title phrase, “for you.” However, the most crucial usage of the hook is at the end of the chorus when Winstanley reveals her true feelings about this broken relationship. She tells her lover that “it’s only working for you.” Through the emotional lyrics and the haunting melodies, the singer eloquently shares the heartbreaking truth and the reason she could no longer fight for this relationship.




"black leather boots"

“black leather boots” explores the complex feelings after a break-up and the irrevocable damage caused by their partner. While the track is an acoustic guitar-led ballad, Winstanley passionately sings anger-fueled lyrics that exposes her former partner for their toxic behavior and her candid feelings about them now. In the first verse, she sings the heart-wrenching line: “do you still hate the things that I like?” With this one sentence, she instantly reveals exactly who they were—a self-centered jerk who went out of their way to put down Winstanley for the things that she loved. The singer proclaims her disdain for her ex-lover in the chorus as she sings, “I fucking hate you// And all of the things that you said// And you should be grateful// That you ever slept in my bed.” She recognizes that she deserved much better than how she was treated and that she was taken for granted. Despite the heartbreaking message sung throughout the song, the listener is provided a happy ending. Winstanley ends the song with one simple line: “Now I’m sleeping at his place instead.” These lyrics reveal that she has moved on with someone new and is happier than ever.



"never have i ever"

“never have i ever” changes the pace of the EP with the track’s upbeat, carefree atmosphere. The energetic production flawlessly represents the relatable message behind the lyrics. The song explores dating in your 20s and not taking life so seriously. Winstanley implores the listener to let go a little and allow themselves to have fun and make mistakes. In the chorus she sings, “I can waste my twenties if I want to// Kinda funny that you thought that I need you// But you can come with me if you want to// Cause I’m not done yet.” Not only do these lyrics have a cheeky and jovial mindset, but the audience has a moment of realization when they hear the EP name. not done yet does not have a title track, so hearing it for the first time catches the listener off guard. Additionally, “never have i ever” is the only joyful song on the project, perhaps representing Winstanley’s current state of emotions. She has since moved on from the heartache and is now celebrating the fact that she is still young and has her entire life ahead of her.




"shit like that"

“shit like that” strips down the EP once more with a melancholic ballad reminiscent of Holly Humberstone’s piano synth productions. Winstanley breaks the hearts of listeners one final time as she explores the permanent harm done to her by her former partner. In the first verse, Winstanley beautifully summarizes the theme of the track with the lyrics: “Loving you was my darkest habit// Hooked on, never giving you up.” With these lines, she expresses that even while she was still in this toxic relationship, she knew that it was harmful. And yet, she was unable to give it up. After the first verse, she loops the hook, “Shit like that don’t leave you.” The repetition of the hook emphasizes the anxiety and depression left behind by the trauma she endured. Throughout the track, gut-wrenching lyrics leave the audience empathizing with the singer as she divulges the extent of the foul treatment she experienced. In the final chorus, the hook is repeated subtly in the background before transitioning to the forefront, as Winstanley closes out the song. “shit like that” wraps up the project perfectly, demonstrating that even though she has moved on from the relationship, the trauma will always be there lurking in the back of her mind.



Issy Winstanley boldly wears her heart on her sleeve through each track on not done yet. Her reflective lyricism and haunting vocals beautifully work together to share the comprehensive storyline about personal love, loss, and heartache. The four tracks take the listener through her emotional journey in a cohesive manner, tying each song together. From the retrospective insight of a doomed relationship in “for you” to the nonchalant lighthearted attitude of “never have i ever,” Winstanley ingeniously shares a detailed narrative. Through her heartfelt songwriting, she has crafted a flawless EP that is not only a cathartic experience for herself, but also a relatable record for listeners that resonate with her candid lyrics.


Written By Karlee Skipper


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