The first time I met easy life we were on a beach in Brighton at The Great Escape in 2019. It’s been a wild ride for the band since then. Starting out on smaller stages at festivals around the world including Latitude, Parklife, Glastonbury and Coachella – the Leicestershire five-piece quickly grew a loyal cult following.
The second time was at the beginning of 2020, before any of us knew the world was about to go to pot. easy life picked up ‘Best New British Act’ at the NME Awards, famously singing Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” during their acceptance speech. No cares in the world. An authentic and deserving band, taking success in their stride and riding the wave as future festival headliners.
Now, as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, with the return of live music firmly on the horizon, easy life emerge with their debut album, ‘Life’s a Beach’, landing at number two in the UK charts.
Across ‘Life’s a Beach’, easy life strike a balance between not wanting to take life too seriously, and the importance of confronting common mental health problems. For frontman Murray Matravers, writing songs is a cathartic process. I caught up with Murray over Zoom while he was enjoying his morning cup of tea.
Congratulations on ‘Life’s a Beach’! How did you guys celebrate?
We had a party on release day at a local pub and got very pissed. After that we were really busy with press, and performances, and more celebrating, and hoping everyone would stop streaming ‘Driver’s License’ *lol*, – so when we went in the charts at number two, it was actually nice to celebrate by having a day off!
What was it like to perform on Jimmy Kimmel?
It was cool. He introduced us as a band from London, which didn’t go down well with hometown fans. We didn’t get to actually fly to America because of restrictions, so the performance was actually filmed in London. Maybe that was the confusion. It was an honour to be asked to be on the show, and we hadn’t performed together in ages, so we had a lot of fun in rehearsals.
Where did the idea of ‘Life’s A Beach’ come from?
The title of the album came from a play on the saying ‘life’s a bitch’. There’s this idea that life definitely isn’t a beach, but we can pretend that things are okay. Our closest beach (from Leicester) is two-and-half hours away, it’s quite a long way away, its called Skegness. Have you seen the film ‘Sexy Beast’? You need to watch it. I’m telling everyone to watch it. That’s where the ‘sexy beast’ reference comes from on ‘Ocean View’. It’s a cult classic. The opening scene is Ray Winstone’s character looking overcooked on a sun-lounger.
Sounds like that could have made good album artwork!
Funny you say that because we did have that idea, there’s an easy life Sexy Beast artwork out there somewhere. Maybe it will surface one day, but I’m not sure as it could be seen as offensive to some people!
Interesting that the album’s theme is escapism, and there’s a song about ‘homesickness’?
Yeah, that was intentional. There’s a real story and a thread that runs through the album, where it comes full circle. ‘homesickness’ is the penultimate song because, the journey of the album sort of takes you on a trip to the beach and back home. And there’s a message that the grass isn’t always greener.
Talking of homesickness, can you name one thing about being on the road that you’ve missed that you never thought you’d miss?
Sleeping on a tour bus. I always had the lower bunk, and you feel quite low down to the road and it’s just very loud and you don’t get much sleep. Touring is hard work and tiring, but a lot of fun. A lot of drinking, and smoking a lot of cannabis. I’d get back on that lower bunk now in a heartbeat.
I thought you said you loved the oceaneasy life – Ocean View
When we were standing at the shore
You didn’t even dip your toes in
I can’t believe I just took you home
‘Ocean View’ is my favourite. How did that song come together? It’s a little sad, but it’s so beautiful. Gives me chills every time..
I suppose it is sad. It’s kind of a sad love song. I have to come clean, this is somebody else’s song that we sampled. Her name is Emilia Ali and the song is “Loved the Ocean”. The original is gorgeous and emotive. We sped it up and added drums. Lyrically, it’s about going off to the seaside, but then the person you’re with doesn’t even dig it.
As future festival headliners, which new song are you most excited to perform live this summer?
Good question! We’ve not played any of the new album songs to a crowd yet so it’s going to be interesting to find out which ones go down well and how they work in the set – we didn’t get a chance to road test any. It’s hard to say how songs will translate. For example with Ocean View, as you said, it’s a beautiful vibey song but it’s also sad, so will that song become the lighter-in-the-air swaying moment? Ahh.. Playing live validates everything we do as a band. It’s been so long since we played a festival and we’ll have full brass band vibes for the first time too, it’s gonna pop off.
You’re on the line up for Boardmasters, so you’ll finally get to a beach this year! Have you ever visited Cornwall?
We were booked to play in 2019, but it got cancelled – I think because of a storm? Typical British summer weather – and then again in 2020 but obviously it got cancelled because of the pandemic. So, third time lucky!! That’s going to be a fun one to play. I think I went to a beach in Cornwall years ago, or maybe it was Devon. It might be the first time we get to a beach this summer so yeah, I’m looking forward to that one.
You collaborated with Arlo Parks on Junk Food. Are there any artists you want to work with on the next album? Can you give me any clues?
We’ve already been working with some really cool artists, so yeah there will definitely be collaborations in the future. I can’t tell you who!!! But it’s really exciting. No clues, but, ok… Some American friends, and some UK friends… You’ll have to wait and see!
easy life’s UK headline tour has rescheduled to November 2021.