easy life’s debut album life’s a beach was inspired by their desire to escape the Leicestershire lockdown and visit the nostalgic British coast. The album romanticises and idealises escapism to the seaside, but it doesn’t shy away from also tackling some darker topics.
easy life portray an intense rollercoaster of emotions throughout the twelve-track album, which includes some of their best work to date. The album seems to lend itself to being viewed in two halves, separated by the ‘life’s a beach (interlude)’.
The most positive moments of life’s a beach appear right at the beginning of the record. Opening track ‘a message to myself’ is a reminder of the importance of individuality and staying true to yourself. Meanwhile ‘have a great day’ uses comedic seaside metaphors such as “Don’t let the seagull steal your chips” to relay the overarching message of not letting anything get in the way of your positive outlook on life.
‘skeletons’, the most upbeat song on the album, tackles underlying anxieties that a new lover has a dark and mysterious past. The track ultimately deciding that this isn’t a bad thing, feelings which are communicated through the song’s skittering and funky electronic instrumental.
‘ocean view’ captures a key underlying motif of the album: anticipation can create disappointment. This theme is manifested tidily into this song, which tells the story of a disappointing holiday, using a sample of Emelia Ali’s ‘Loved The Ocean’.
This topic of holiday blues is fleshed out on the record’s penultimate track ‘homesickness’. Lead vocalist Murray Matravers speaks candidly of missing his partner in the UK, despite fulfilling his dreams in America.
‘homesickness’ and ‘compliments’ march in step, since they both explore the effects that distance can have on relationships. Whilst ‘homesickness’ explores the pains of missing someone, ‘compliments’ tells the story of a relationship breaking down, as communication falters and the connection crumbles.
The dichotomy between the album’s two halves can be seen most directly on ‘daydreams’ and ‘nightmares’. Featuring a sample of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Day Dreaming’, ‘daydreams’ was born out of boredom and monotony in lockdown, belonging in the East Midlands rather than at the seaside.
Meanwhile, ‘nightmares’ digs into darker themes, as Matravers speaks candidly and openly of his struggles with insomnia and anxiety. Placing these songs on opposing ends of the tracklist was likely a stylistic decision by the band, to contrast their escapist dreams with the difficulties of reality.
The album tackles negative topics, but Matravers seems unable to discuss the darkness without showing gratitude for the light soon after. Positivity and hope ultimately triumph on life’s a beach, revealing the album’s overarching message: life may be difficult sometimes, and it is full of problems, but it could always be worse. Try to find the silver lining, and everything is going to be alright.
Words by Gemma Cockrell
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