Back in 2019, I first heard of the Leicester band Easy Life when their track “Nice Guys” was released. In 2020, this track found a place in their EP Junk Food (aka one of my favorite EPs of 2020).
In March of 2021, they announced the release of their debut album Life’s A Beach. To celebrate and learn more about this debut, in May of 2021, I had the chance to attend a press conference with Easy Life’s Murray Matravers (vocals, synth, keys, trumpet).
If you know anything about the rainy city of Leicster, we basically got an album about the beach from a band who lives nowhere near the beach.
That’s what makes this album so special.
Murray writes about things he sees, feels, and thinks, especially things in the city. Life’s A Beach takes Easy Life and their listeners outside of the city. Just because you are in a rainy city, does not mean your experience there always has to be dreary. Murray asked the question, “Can we get there [the beach] through music or do we have to drive there ourselves?”
I would answer that question as, “absolutely you can get to the beach through music.”
Life’s A Beach has two parts. Side A is sunny and optimistic with songs like “Ocean View” and “Skeletons” while side B takes a darker and more cynical turn with songs “Living Strange” and “Nightmares.”
Even though you don’t have to listen to the album from front to back, I recommend doing it at least once. Life’s a Beach is a beautiful story of hypothetically traveling to the beach that balances heavy subjects and positive messages.
The first song on their album, “a message to myself,” is a song that will serve as a reminder to keep being yourself and not be influenced by other people’s opinions. Easy Life shared on their Instagram, “Life can seem pretty impossible from time to time but we all need to get better at listening to the positive voice in our heads, no matter how drowned out it may become by something negative. Nobody can do you better; there is nobody else who can do you so please just be yourself.”
Watch the video for “a message to myself” here:
After “a message to myself,” songs “have a great day” and “ocean view” play. The track “ocean view” is paired with a music video. The video gets a little weird, let’s be honest, but Matravers is very happy with how it turned out.
They tried to recreate the album artwork with this one take music video. After hearing Murray explain the creative process of this music video with director Greg Barth, the attendants of the press conference basically came to the conclusion that this video is like a dream where things are weird but your brain says, “no this is a fine and normal situation, actually .”
You just have to watch it to see what we mean. Watch the music video for “ocean view” here:
After “ocean view” is the song “skeletons” (one of my favorite tracks from Life’s A Beach). Easy Life filmed the video for “skeletons” during lockdown. The goal, just like the video for “ocean view,” was to get a video in just one take. Murray said it was stressful to film because of this goal and theie location choice, a busy street in South London where they were “wrestling with members of the public.”
Oh yeah, there’s also a horse.
Watch the video for “skeletons” here:
Following “skeletons” are tracks “daydreams” and “life’s a beach (interlude)” which transition into the darker side of the album.
The songs “living strange,” “compliments,” and “lifeboat” fill side B of the album. Out of these three tracks, “compliments” might be my favorite. Murray sings, “We haven’t called each other for days and we’re never on the same wavelength. These days, I praise and praise and praise but you can’t take a compliment…”
Next, are the songs “nightmares” and “homesickness.” Released in 2018 before the album, “nightmares” is a standout track. It is a great track for the side B of the album with dark lyrical content and descriptions.
When the “nightmares” music video was first released, some fans dove deep into the meaning and visuals (like the head injury at the hospital, the lemons, and the pink coffin). With the release of Life’s A Beach and the “ocean view” music video, some things, I think, make a little more sense.
“nightmares” found the perfect fit on the Life’s A Beach album. Check out the music video here:
Concluding the album is a track called “music to walk home to.” It’s a fast spoken word track where Murray tells the story of his walk home from a so-called “wild night.”
Murray says, “And what about you, what keeps you busy? Well, excuse me my slippery skinned friend, I must be going now… And just like that I was off, just me myself and I again. No distractions, alone with my thoughts.”
“music to walk home to” is one of my favorites from the album. Filled with various sounds, stories, and thoughts, this song truly feels like a walk home in a busy city.
Murray then ends the album and his walk home with, “Hey, it’s been a pleasure… Yeah, thanks. Speak tomorrow. Sweet dreams and yeah… Blah, blah, blah. Alright, goodnight.”
Just before the album released on May 31, Easy Life shared on social media, “throughout the last 4 years we have marveled at the way in which the easy life community has embraced our music and ideas but more than this, we have been amazed at the way in which our fans have interacted with each other. you guys are there for each other which is the most wholesome and important thing. so many times, we have met people who have met through easy life and have continued to stay in touch and become friends. that is genuinely our greatest achievement. thank you xx.”
Easy Life brought back their genreless style of mixing alternative, indie, hip-hop, rock, and more in Life’s A Beach. Easy Life, as Matravers explained, has never been a genre. They have always wanted to shake the “genre thing.”
Influenced by creators of all genres and mediums, especially American rapper Kendrick Lamar, Easy Life is honest, positive, and inspiring.
After learning more about this album, Murray’s experience, and the band as a whole, I have to say Life’s A Beach is one of the best albums released in 2021 so far.
Recommended tracks: “skeletons,” “lifeboat,” “nightmares,” and “music to walk home to”