The Easy Life
Their future looks bright. (Image via Instagram)

Easy Life Defies Genre While Evoking Nostalgia and Escape

Hailing from the U.K., the band mixes hip-hop, jazz, indie rock, pop and ambient house — and they haven’t let quarantine dampen their prospects.

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The Easy Life

Hailing from the U.K., the band mixes hip-hop, jazz, indie rock, pop and ambient house — and they haven’t let quarantine dampen their prospects.

With their eclectic and genre-blending style, Easy Life offers something for everyone. The band’s refusal to stick to just one genre, along with their nostalgic lyrics, make them stand out from the pack.

The quintet is composed of frontman Murray Matravers, Oliver Cassidy as lead drummer, Sam Hewitt on the bass guitar, Jordan Birtles on keyboard and percussion, and finally, Lewis Alexander Berry on guitar. Each member had previously been in other bands around their native Leicester, England, before they finally came together to form Easy Life in 2017.

The band and its name, frontman Matravers says, is meant to evoke escapism. Modernity has definitely not made life easy and the band rejects its materialistic pressures, instead embracing a hedonistic philosophy on how they should live.

It’s hard to categorize the band as just one genre. While we can perhaps label them most generally as alternative, the band often boldly blends together hip-hop, jazz, indie, pop, Afrobeat, slow groove, ambient house and psychedelic electronica. Most of their projects manage to blend jazzy guitar melodies with hip-hop and R&B heavy clap beats, along with a touch of electronic. No one song sounds like another.

They manage to package various influences into cohesive masterpieces every time. Perhaps one of the best ways to describe the band is to say that their music sounds like Glass Animals, Frank Ocean and Two Door Cinema Club put out a collaborative album. However, words can only go so far. The best way to understand Easy Life’s discography is to listen to it.

They have a talent for capturing nostalgic moments by melding spoken word elements, free-flowing classic genres and modern electronic distortions. “Ice Cream” offers a flashback to bittersweet summer memories hidden behind cold dessert similes.

Other songs like “Frank,” named after Frank Ocean, offer an upbeat outlook on a struggling relationship. “OJPL” is a slice of a soft R&B summer that reflects on falling for someone who is out of your league. The groovy and funky “Nightmares” is ostensibly about insomnia and anxiety but has a meaning that goes deeper than that; the song questions whether others around you care about your problems when they have their own problems to deal with.

Their debut single, “Pockets”, released in 2017, describes the sinking feeling of not being able to pay rent while still trying to find happiness through other vices. The band describes the track as a middle finger to people who are obsessed with materialism and showing off what they have. Matravers reveals that the song was written during a time where things for the band were not as sunny and happy as they are now. “It was a reflection of the time,” said the frontman in an article by Clash Music. The debut featured the genre-blending style that has now become the band’s staple by combining funk, indie and hip-hop elements.

Easy Life has had much success since the release of their first single nearly three years ago. They initially released “Pockets” under Chess Club Records in 2017. The band subsequently signed to Island Records in April 2018, where they released their debut mixtape, “Creature Habits Mixtape.” Their most recent EP, “Junk Food,” peaked at No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart on the day it was released.

In 2019, the band embarked on an American tour where they performed at venues in a handful of cities, as well as music festivals such as South by Southwest, Governors Ball and Coachella. Easy Life later played at The Great Escape and Glastonbury festivals in England and spent the fall touring around the UK.

Matravers reflects on the band’s success by sharing, “When you start a band you just want to make music, and now all of a sudden we’re playing Coachella. It’s all very weird. I don’t really know why or how it’s happened, or where I found these guys, but I’m glad I did.”

It is not an outlandish claim to say that no other band is quite like Easy Life, and everyone is taking notice. In December, they placed second on BBC’s Sound of 2020 poll, where the public voted on what promising new talent they see breaking out in the upcoming year. Then in February, they won best new British act at the NME Awards.

In early May, they released “see you later maybe never(demos),” which consisted of two new releases, “peanut butter” and “petty crime.” The project was created while in quarantine, an impressive task given that each of the members live separately from one another.

Easy Life is a breath of fresh air whose music feels like a throwback. Their songs evoke feelings of nostalgia through lyrics that reflect on relatable experiences growing up, and mix it with hip-hop, indie and groovy sounds. Easy Life has a bright future ahead, and the members have their unique talents to thank.

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