In support of their second album, ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’, easy life play at DLWP in February 2023.
The album is a story about silver linings, and making sense of the world – fitting, given the sudden grounding the band experienced amid the global pandemic.
After their much-loved debut ‘life’s a beach’ charted at number 2 last year, the band performed a run of sold-out shows including 2 sold out nights at London’s O2 Brixton Academy, plus an arena show in their home town of Leicester.
Catch them live next year as the band scales to euphoric new heights!
8pm Sad Night Dynamite
9pm Easy Life
All timings are approximate and subject to change
Suitable for all ages. Under 14s should be accompanied by an adult, and in seats.
Easy Life’s second album, ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’, is a story about silver linings, and making sense of the world – fitting, given the sudden grounding the band experienced amid the global pandemic.
“A central theme with us has always been escapism: rather than just say ‘life sucks’ we’re all about celebrating what we have,” explains frontman Murray Matravers. This time, easy life had to put their own ethos to the test – resulting in a heartfelt, melancholic, and uplifting record that will challenge people’s expectations as the band scales euphoric new heights.
After their much-loved debut ‘life’s a beach’ charted at number 2 last year, the band (which also consists of drummer Oliver Cassidy, bassist Sam Hewitt, guitarist Lewis Alexander Berry and keyboardist/percussionist Jordan Birtles) performed a run of sold-out shows including 2 sold out nights at London’s O2 Brixton Academy, plus an arena show in their hometown of Leicester. Their gigs were sweaty and carnal, heady and dizzying affairs, with Murray’s shank-sharp observations about the minutiae of modern life cutting through the chaos. But as ‘life’s a beach’ rolled out, and the world fell for Easy Life’s conceptual love-letter to the gunmetal skies and roughly-hewn coastlines of the British seaside, Murray was grappling with the impact of the pandemic; the lockdowns that were clipping the band’s wings, every time they tried to soar. Like the submerged car bobbing on their debut album artwork, it was hard for easy life to tell whether they would sink or stay afloat.
Finding the silver lining was harder; Murray felt rootbound in his London flat, so he upped and moved – twice – which included spending six months living with his girlfriend’s parents near Hungerford, Berkshire. Meanwhile, the band was scattered to the wind. Oliver went to work with his brother-in-law on a building site. Lewis went to work on his dad’s farm. Jordan went to study graphic design. “Sam went and bought two greyhounds,” Murray recalls. easy life knew that when it was safe to reunite, they would. But it didn’t make being apart any easier. “Maybe because of where I was in my own life, I was feeling pretty fucking depressed and anxious through most of 2021,” Murray says. He was determined to keep himself anchored, and making music was the only way to process the changing world.
‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’ became a vessel for all Murray’s feelings and fears, mirroring the anxieties of a generation emerging from the pandemic into an altered reality. “I was trying to create a world which is better than the world we inhabited at the time,” says Murray. In many ways, ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’ is also a full-circle moment for easy life: a band who formed with the hedonistic outlook of “no regrets”, now learning to live with and grow from them.
easy life’s second album takes its name from one of the first songs Murray wrote for the project, ‘DEAR MISS HOLLWAY.’ The track features a head-turning verse from BROCKHAMPTON frontman Kevin Abstract – it became both a blueprint for how everything else could look, and a lens through which to view Murray’s evolving emotions during the band’s success. Sonically, ‘DEAR MISS HOLLWAY’ is a wistful, woozily West Coast ode to a love that wasn’t meant to be (Murray wrote it about a passing crush on a teacher: “maybe in another life, we could try to roll the dice, and get it right’”). The deceptively simple chord progression, which recalls Stevie Wonder’s ‘You Are The Sunshine of My Life’ and Bill Withers ‘Lovely Day’, felt nostalgic, and a huge leap from the sonic palette he was used to painting with as a producer. That nostalgia imbued in the 26-year-old a sort of wisdom. “Thematically, it opened a door into this whole world,” Murray says. “DEAR MISS HOLLWAY centers around ideas of choice. Kevin raps about expectations versus reality, and personally, it’s a very profound song for me. It’s a fantasy, but the melancholy is as potent as ever”.
Once it was safe to do so, Murray swapped his solo studio set up for working in person – collaborating with the likes of Gianluca and Alessandro Buccellati, Rob Milton, Fraser T Smith and Bekon and The Donuts, and then with Abstract (who he became friends with after DM’ing him on Twitter). Abstract introduced him into his circle and soon, they were listening to each other’s new music. When Murray played him ‘DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY’, Abstract asked to cut a verse right there, and the ease at which the Texan rapper and the Leicester lad dovetail is a testament to easy life’s kaleidoscopic palette, which has resulted in an album channeling everything from the manic energy of Odd Future to the flamboyant showmanship of Elton John.
“easy life have always tried to push boundaries of what an ‘English indie band’ should be, and historically that has led us to explore the more hip-hop side of our influences,” says Murray. But despite the clear hip-hop thread throughout the record, it’s equally a case study in the classic but unorthodox groups who have blazed a trail before them (ELO, Supertramp, Outkast). Murray deploys a sophisticated but lean production style throughout the album, elevating easy life’s production to the world’s stage. “Sonically speaking, all the textures and layers have intention. Nothing made it into the tracks that wasn’t thought about and scrutinised,” he explains. To him, this was less about minimalism and more about harmony – the idea of everything working seamlessly together to create a richer body of work.
‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’ became this record about how our choices define us, for better and worse, about regrets and lamentations, and a way to make peace with things we can’t control. “Everybody needs a little bit more happiness in their lives,” he says, quoting a line from ‘BUBBLE WRAP’. Recalling the spontaneous, furiously prolific streak of the band’s early mixtapes, Murray kept the album secret from almost everybody, surprising his record label mere months after the group’s debut was released with a whole new album. If ‘life’s a beach’ was easy life sunny-side-up – a rounded, realist study of Middle England – it’s on the bedroom make-believe of ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’ that easy life lands their most potent of home truths.
With his guard lower than it had ever been, Murray began to see the benefits of tapping into his innermost thoughts. After the year we’d all had, what did he have to lose? It’s a mindset introduced on first single ‘BEESWAX’, a deadpan paean about oversharing online, the need for privacy post-lockdown, and boundaries – “You should keep your distance/it’s none of your business” he drones, his voice distorted in places. “I wanted to play a character, almost, someone who was asking for space,” Murray explains, citing the influence of Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean as artists who playfully skew their vocals in their work. The lyrics take in everything from his perceived chest-beating frontman identity to people “taking a mile when I give them an inch”. It took Murray until the song was completed to realise he was, actually, talking more from his own experience than he thought. Similarly, on “BUGGIN…” Murray has the conversation he wishes he could have had IRL at one of Luca’s parties, when some unwelcome guests ruined the vibe. ‘OTT’, featuring a mellifluous vocal from New Zealand pop star BENEE, is the talk you long to have with someone on a self-destructive streak: an interventionist theme also captured on ‘BASEMENT’, a claustrophobic, imagined house-party banger in which a cripplingly insecure peer-group answer existential angst – “are we there yet?” – with excess.
This sense of easy life escaping reality by creating a colourful new one is further expressed in the visual world of ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’. For the project, the band commissioned claymation wunderkind Will Child to bring a surreal, idealistic aesthetic to both the album artwork and the video for ‘DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY’. The album artwork shows a picturesque house which is revealed, on the back, to be a fake – a beautiful-looking fantasy. Is the perfect world less beautiful if it isn’t real, or does it help preserve the fantasy by trapping it in a gilded frame? Murray drew inspiration from classic Disney animation, but also the British claymation of
Nick Park and the dreamlike art nouveau aesthetic of Wes Anderson. Animation is used across the campaign, both for its physicality and tactile feeling. It creates a tangible sense of “DIY” that ensures the visuals mimic the mood and reflect the feeling of human connection across the album. “On this album I was able to start working on the visuals at the same time as the music, so the two things have grown up together as siblings – because of this coexistence they feel like they belong together.”
Across their hugely eclectic catalogue, easy life have often gone where others won’t in their blend of deeply personal lyrics, and life’s larger topics. ‘a message to myself’ was a moving ode to self-love partly inspired by male suicide rates, whilst environmental anthem ‘earth’ makes just as much sense next to down-and-out hit ‘pockets’ in its unusual openness. It’s this frankness that continues on ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’, albeit swapping easy life’s home-grown setting for the vast multiverses Murray fantasised about during isolation. ‘ANTIFREEZE’ was written over lockdown with US bedroom pop prince Gus Dapperton, and is the sound of two men finding common emotional ground even over Zoom. ‘MEMORY LOSS’, meanwhile, is a stunningly raw ballad reminiscent of Damon Albarn; a warts-and-all reminder that you ultimately can’t run from your mistakes. Affectingly, the album is punctuated by moments of such digital intimacy: ‘BUBBLE WRAP’ takes a shimmering, sequin-studded slow-dance about “the disappointing reality of growing up,” and includes a real voice note Sam left Murray after what he describes as a “particularly bad day at the office”. In it, Sam reminds Murray the band will brave the tough times together, just like they always do. At the hands of a lesser talent such songs could feel morbid, but easy life effortlessly thread euphoric feelings into their most devastating moments; a reminder for young men to be unburdened of their darkest thoughts and to seek comfort in one another.
If “MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…” spans every eventuality from Murray’s psyche over the last couple of years, then album closer ‘FORTUNE COOKIE’ is a gentle rousing back to the real world. “If you believe you’re in need of repair… take care,” he sings. Murray says the song was written for bandmate Sam, but it was something the whole band held close to their hearts. “We have a good support network, we’re always here for each other,” he admits. “When your mental health is in a bad place, there’s no fixed answer.” But, he says, “I learned all you can do is be there. You have no idea how much that helps. As a band, I think easy life are really good at it, and we want to encourage that in others, particularly among young men.”
An album for unprecedented times, “MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…” feels like an expertly-realised vision of modern masculinity, identity, and a group of young men figuring out their place in the world. Whether through straight-talking or exuberant world-building, ‘MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE…’ finds joy in the journey, not just the destination. It ends on a note of much-needed clarity, perhaps even hope – once more, easy life offer a lifeline for anyone else keeping their head above the water.
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Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
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Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
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Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 7pm. After this time parking is free.
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Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
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