Music has always offered a reprieve from the stresses of daily life. Whether crying along to a sad song after a particularly difficult day or dancing around to an upbeat track after receiving some exciting news, music has always been an outlet to express emotion. As the number of days of worldwide quarantine and cases of COVID-19 steadily increase, we need music now more than ever.
All of this extra time on our hands while staying home provides the perfect opportunity to discover new artists to laugh, sing and cry to. In the coming weeks, we’ll highlight a few up-and-coming musicians for you to add to your playlists and listen to when you need to shut out what’s going on in the world.
Easy Life is one of those bands that feels so fresh and nostalgic at the same time that you’ll feel like you’ve heard their songs a million times while also discovering a whole new type of sound. The five-piece band, made up of Oliver Cassidy on drums, Sam Hewitt on bass and saxophone, Lewis Alexander Berry on guitar, Jordan Birties on keys and Murray Matravers on lead vocals and piano, hail from Leicester, United Kingdom and knew of one another for a while before joining forces to form Easy Life.
“We came together quite easily because we were all part of a local music scene,” Cassidy explained. “Murray and Sam went to school together so they started music from a young age. Lewis and I played in bands together growing up and Jordan himself was in another band. And then we all played with each other at some stage in our music career, but not all in the same band. And then all of the sudden we thought it just seems very natural to bring it together, so now here we are.”
Easy Life signed with Island Records in 2018 and released their debut mixtape entitled “Creature Habits” that same year. From the very beginning, the band had an experimental sound, mixing together the best of indie pop, R&B, funk and hip-hop.
“With there being five of us, it’s very easy to draw from different inspirations that we all have individually,” Matravers said. Although the group tries to avoid listing musical influences “like the plague,” according to Matravers, because of how varied each of their tastes are, they cited Quincy Jones, Bob Marley, Denzel Curry, Sam Cooke and ABBA as just some of their many artistic inspirations.
As with all of Easy Life’s work, their method for creating music is anything but typical or even uniform. The band works closely with Rob Milton, their producer, who Berry refers to as the band’s “sixth member.” Sometimes just Matravers and Milton will start in the studio, sometimes all five of them will get in there and “mess around with [the track],” as Cassidy explained.
“There’s no real process,” Matravers affirmed. “When we listen to each of the songs they all have a different story of how they were written, where they were written, why they were written. So there’s no real formula. We’ve even written a couple on the road.”
Since signing with Island Records, Easy Life has released a plethora of singles and another mixtape. However, their first EP entitled “Junk Food” just dropped this year and was met with critical acclaim, reaching No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart a day after its release on Jan. 10.
“Junk Food” continues to showcase the duality of Easy Life: Both playful and serious, melodious and frenzied, fun and melancholy. Matraver’s fluid vocals fluctuate between nearly monotone rap bars and smooth melodic lines, especially on “Sangria,” a standout track on the EP that includes a beautiful feature from British poet-singer Arlo Parks. “Dead Celebrities” encapsulates the nostalgia of a Los Angeles summer in a sound, while “Nice Guys” is the perfect song to dance around your room to while fighting any quarantine-induced blues.
Between their catchy beats, innovative sound and playful sense, throwing on any track from Easy Life’s discography is guaranteed to lift your mood. Which, as we head into our fourth week of self-isolation, is exactly what we all need.
Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.