easy life is not an unfamiliar name for lovers of genre-bending music and eccentric references. The Leichester band have built a dedicated following through their unique take on R&B and
mixed-matched production. They released their sand-washed album “life’s a beach” this May and it’s the best album to keep you company during your summer days in or out.
According to frontman Murray Matravers, life’s a beach is a journey towards the beach side where the road is a bit bumpy and hectic. Problems arise, the idealized version of your dream beach day is not quite what you thought it would be. At the end of the day though, you end up making it home and the small things that you were fussing about seem less important and you can say "Fuck it." easy life is a band known for their opposites and this album fully embodies this defining quality of their music. Uncertainty of failing relationships, not knowing where you stand with life and the feeling of detachment from what is going on around you are recurring themes yet they are met with sunny and breezy sounds and beats. They are honest with what they are feeling and it’s important for the band to vocalize what they’re going through in order to normalize the taboo conversations that we can initiate collectively.
"Life is somewhere else" said Milan Kundera in her book with the same title. "You stay locked up and your senses tell you that you want to go and their laughter resonates, and the evil is amplified because their rhymes follow you and become your routine." Coeur de Pirate sang. Many have written, sang and drew about imagining something new elsewhere. However, in easy life's case, the escapism is way more palpable. The album was written during the lockdown so the desire to run away is more like a need than a simple wish.
The first part of the album represents the bright sunny days and the excitement whereas the second half of the album takes a darker turn with lyrics tackling mental healthy issues and depression. It's the metaphor of an Iceberg, as the illustration of the album clearly suggests.
The starter, message to myself is produced by Kendrick Lamar producer Bekon. It starts off with a grotesque piano trick and subtly eases into an R&B beat. Choosing this track as an opener is a daring move as its unlike anything the band has put out. It prepares you for the upcoming journey that you're embarking on and it works just like a caution sign that indicates that there will be bumps along the road. ocean view, a heavily pop inspired disappointment-filled song, talks about not finding what you were expecting within an experience and not understanding the newly changed dynamic of a relationship. The production style is heavily inspired by lo-fi beats and muffled sounds. For this particular song, it works wonders for the narrative of the album. The background vocals that sound like whispers coming from underwater pays hommage to the illustration of the album.
The album continues with skeletons, an epic song that starts off with sturdy drums and glossy beats reminiscent of KAYTRANADA's production. The heavy and fast-paced rhythm of the song may be interpreted as a nervous overthinking spiral. "What I don't know can't hurt me I guess, I feel the need to question your past, like how many exes you've had." sings Murray. With life's a beach (interlude) the album takes a depressing turn yet the breeziness of each track still remains. living strange openly talks about suicidal thoughts and not trusting yourself with what you're feeling. The obvious sentiment of feeling lost and confused radiates through the song with lyrics like "Suicidal thoughts / I tell the taxi to drive slow / 9-9-9 it's a friendly emergency / But fuck knows what I was thinking / I hang myself from the ceiling / It's a real pretty art installation / Just a cry for attention / No life, no reputation." The swift change from singing about the ocean to hanging yourself is a surprising one but it feels more real. Going from one mental place to another happens so quickly and it feels great to see that representation in this album.
easy life tries to tell their experiences with mental health, fame and uncertainty in the most frank way possible. The production that flows cohesively during the longevity of the album takes the narrative a step further. life's a beach is a brilliant full length album showing the multiple façades of easy life's competencies in a non self-righteous way. music to walk home to is basically a drunk rumination monologue where the frontman is alone with his thoughts. It's fun and witty as hell. The album has its dark moments with living strange and nightmares but ends with a bright note. Matravers is a positive fella in the end. It's like a drunken late-night-talk with your best friend during a night out where you finish ranting and say "well, fuck it, it's alright." pay the bill, get home and feel better having shared your mind-boggling thoughts.