Easy Life are as complex as they are loveable. Latest mixtape, ‘Junk Food’, is their most complete work to date and exhibits exactly why many see them as the next big thing to blow out of the UK.
It's fair to say 2019 was a seminal year for the five-piece band. It included the release of their cosmic, highly acclaimed ‘Spaceships Mixtape’, captivating festival performances before rounding off the year placed second on the BBC Sound of 2020 Longlist. Their eclectic - and fan-winning - sound incorporates elements of hip-hop and neo soul with classic indie pop vocals, a refreshing spin on the specific strain of indie that meets at the cross section between Jamie T and The Internet.
Although only seven tracks long and labelled a ‘mixtape’, their latest project gives enough to be considered a short album, while the approach gives Easy Life the space to flex and explore their sound without the pressures of a full project. Despite ‘Spaceships Mixtape’ having a more consistent sound throughout, the tracks on this record demonstrate a maturity in both production and song-writing of lead singer, Murray Matravers.
Originally from Leicester, the band take influence from their humble beginnings while simultaneously nodding to more contemporary sounds. The raw, witty vocals of Matravers evoke the frustrations and elations of growing up in middle England, offering a snapshot into a typically unreported swathe of British life. This relatable approach is rooted in their understanding and appreciation of youth culture, and is no more evident than on ‘Earth’, which samples that YouTube favourite of a kid struggling to get his words out. Although humorous, it take nothing away from this celestial, technically layered, standout track. Matravers sings: “I don’t feel at home on this planet, but still I’m looking so candid.” This line neatly summarises their complex yet loveable narrative, somewhat beautiful yet not taking themselves too seriously.
Another particularly poignant moment arrives on ‘Sangria’, a sultry haze that features fellow BBC Sound of 2020 alumni Arlo Parks. The record is reminiscent of Colombian-American Kali Uchis’ alluring sound and shines light on the flourishing neo-soul style from which the band draws influence. Here, Matravers’ almost-rap vocals contrast smoothly against the deep bass and sensual vocals of Parks.
Just as the album’s lip-smacking title does, this latest project gives you a craving more. With ‘Junk Food’, Easy Life have set the foundations for a huge 2020 in what is set to be a career defining year. We just don’t want to wait too long to be fed the next tasty instalment.
Words: Angus McKeon
- - -
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.