easy life Break Down Their Debut Album “life’s a beach” Track by Track
The U.K. five-piece’s record is out today via Interscope.
It makes sense that the phrase “life’s a beach” had enough of a profound meaning on easy life for them to name their debut collection of songs after it—the U.K. five-piece were reared nowhere near the bodies of water that surround their country, metaphorically and perhaps literally implying that life was happening all around them. A relocation to LA, however, soon helped them realize the ways SoCal residents take their environment for granted, prompting a debut record which meditates on life on the Pacific.
After gaining attention from a series of singles—most notably “nightmares” and its appearance on Michaela Coel’s memorable I May Destroy You—the hip-hop swayed pop ensemble have revealed an LP full of emotional ebbs and flows to counter the crashing waves they fondly sing about. The 12 funky tracks tell a dramatic story in two parts, which benefit from vocalist Murray Matravers walking us through each track. You can hear the album in full—out today via Interscope Records—below, and read on for Matravers’ words.
1. “a message to myself”
This song is quite literally me reminding future Murray that everything will be fine and to be unashamedly yourself in whatever it is you are doing. In this case, it was writing an album. The song belonged at the beginning of the record, as for me it set the level of honesty and openness that the listener can expect from the rest of the album. It’s a song that celebrates individuality and is best enjoyed with the video for the full experience.
2. “have a great day”
This is a song about a dream day at the seaside. Everything is going your way and it seems for the first time ever as though the world finally understands you and what makes you tick. Sonically, the song was inspired by the melodies of the ’50/’60s era of classic songs. We wanted a song that sounded like we were a guitar band. We are always inspired by hip-hop production, but at this early and breezy point in the record we wanted to be the optimistic indie band singing about a day at the seaside. What could possibly go wrong?
3. “ocean view”
All of a sudden, the day at the beach isn’t going so well. After sampling the gorgeous “Loved the Ocean” by Emilia Ali, we added kick, snare, Prophet-5, and that was it. This was a spontaneous song that just happened and we love it. It’s littered with nostalgic memories from past encounters and essentially serves to undermine the optimism that was established early on in the record. Perhaps the world really is fucked up after all? There actually are people who exist who simply don’t love the ocean—how bizarre.
Party time! 115 bpm, simple chords, disgusting bass, it’s time to get the ball rolling. “Skeletons” is a song about baggage. Of which, we all have loads. I’m always attracted to things that bring me trauma, and for some reason this feels like something that we are all guilty of. “Skeletons” deals with this idea of being mysteriously drawn to things and people who are inherently bad for you. It’s an upbeat tune with a spooky twist, an instant classic, a moment, a memory. A song for people who want to take their suitcase of woes and spill it unapologetically on the sweaty and sticky dance floor of a dirty Leicester-based pub or club.
What can I say, we sampled Aretha Franklin. “Daydreams” was written as an antidote to “nightmares.” Belonging on side A, it feels as though despite some bumps in the road everything is so far so good and things have an air of optimism throughout despite the obvious drinking problem. Written in lockdown when all I was doing was sitting in the sun drinking shit beer and Lidl gin. It’s a bookmark in the lockdown diary. Thank god that’s over (for now).
6. “life’s a beach (interlude)”
We had a thousand million interludes to choose from, but wanted something to bridge the gap between the sunny side A and the slightly more sinister and disturbing side B that follows. This brass number was an excuse to record loads of sax and trumpet and endulge all of our show band fantasies. For the nerds, it also modulates from the daydream key into “living strange,” so that when the intro of “living strange” starts it feels as wholesome and perfect as it should.
7. “living strange”
I wrote this song with my brother. We often talk about deep shit for hours on end, and I can really come clean about everything. We often write rather dark and musically intense songs and this was no exception. I love the honesty and anxiety that was captured in the vocal take. It was a strange time in both of our lives, and the song really encapsulates it all perfectly. The organ solos that feature throughout are another personal favourite of mine. Please enjoy responsibly.
It is truly impossible to know what to say when someone compliments you. This song is all about that awkward few seconds after someone tells you they like your shoes—or worse still, that they like your whole outfit. The chords in this were always a winner and we had the best time ever tracking them on a gorgeous Rhodes through a lot of vintage outboard, it was pure bliss. The last four chords make my face curl up into a weird shape, be careful.
“Lifeboat” is a song to say thanks to everyone who has helped me through harder times and been there for me. Everyone has those unfailing loyal friends who will pick them up, and I just wanted to say thanks to those people who I am blessed with knowing. The way the guitar started as a joke and before long we had a full ’70s-inspired ballad number. Love this one, can’t wait to play it live.
Finally our single “nightmares” has a home. It was always just a rogue single and we wanted to give it a home. The album has now taken quite a fairly dark turn, and things aren’t quite the sunshine beach of “have a great day.” This song deals with the claustrophobia of anxiety and society’s failure to understand how best to deal with the fallout. A provocative subject matter masked perfectly by a pop instrumental bearing a sample from Dionne Warwick’s “Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets.”
This is a song about missing home. The first time I ever heard the arpeggiator it reduced me to tears. It was a sad song from the outset, and one which is full of nostalgia. Imagine being in LA and missing Leicester. It seems like a mental concept but was one that I have grown increasingly familiar with. There really is no place like home. Home also becomes a metaphor for familiarity in this case, and perhaps the song is more about being out of my comfort zone socially rather than simply just geographically miles from Leicester.
12. “music to walk home to”
The soundtrack to a very messy journey home after an even messier night out. We have all been there. I was completely wasted when I wrote this and never thought it would be on the album, but it felt right. We have been to the beach, but it’s time to go home. It documents all the all-too-familiar sensations of losing your keys, befriending weirdos, and just being intoxicated in general. The perfect end to a wild day out at the seaside.