Easy Life’s sophomore album, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE is on the horizon. Three of its tracks, launched earlier this year, offer an enticing taste of what’s to come from the UK indie-pop collective. During their Sydney tour stop, we sat down with Easy Life to chat about the “magical moments” that led to the birth of their colourful, uplifting record, arriving in October.
Easy Life are on a steadfast journey across the globe, taking over venues and airwaves in the US, Europe and Asia. Since the launch of their chart-topping debut album, life’s a beach in 2021, the British indie-pop five-piece has garnered a devoted fanbase from all corners of the world.
In Australia, the acclaimed record was featured in triple j’s Hottest 100, and received glowing praise from the station for its “deeply personal and observational storytelling in a warm, woozy, sun drenched sonic blanket.” Over in the UK, life’s a beach peaked at No. 2 on the Official Albums Chart, and was followed up by a string of sold-out shows in Europe.
Formed in Leicester in 2017, Easy Life comprises Murray Matravers (frontman), Oliver Cassidy (drums), Sam Hewitt (bass), Lewis Berry (guitar), and Jordan Birtles (keys, percussion). Earlier this year, the fast-rising collective blessed our ears with three striking releases off their highly-anticipated sophomore record, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE, which is slated for release on Friday, October 7 via Island Records.
In celebration of the album, Easy Life will embark on a near sold-out RECORD STORE TOUR, kickstarting the first week of October. Just last week, the band touched down in Australia for their first-ever live shows down under! During their short trip, we were lucky enough to nab them for a chat about their upcoming album, crazy tour experiences, dream collabs, magical studio moments, Japanese karaoke and broken tour buses.
HAPPY: First off, welcome to Australia! Besides gearing up for tomorrow night’s show at the Factory Theatre, what else have you guys been up to since you touched down in Sydney?
OLIVER: I’ve just eaten some bangers and mash, and that was spot on. And I’ve been trainer shopping, and managed to buy a new pair of trainers within an hour.
SAM: This one’s not really about Australia, but I like that it’s cold out here right now. And I’ve had an Anzac biscuit today, so I feel right at home.
HAPPY: You’re busy touring the world at the moment, but what city are you based in when you’re not on the road?
OLIVER: Three of us are in Leicester, myself, Lewis and Jordan. Sam’s in Nottingham and Murray is in London.
MURRAY: We’re kind or spread out, but England’s so small that you can be in any city within, like, an hour or two on the trains. So, I think since starting to tour a lot around the world, distances in England seem to be so small. So the fact that we live in different cities doesn’t really make a difference.
HAPPY: Your second album, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE is coming out in October. You worked on it during lockdown last year, and I read that it carries messages about finding silver linings and trying to make sense of the world during unpredictable times. Where did you draw the inspiration to deliver hopeful messages like that, during a time that was so difficult?
MURRAY: I think this album is really quite introverted because we spent so much time on our own over lockdown, and finally had some time off from touring. I think all of my anxieties and worries sort of caught up with me, and I used music as a kind of therapy to try and work things out for myself. And in those times, I might be dealing with quite dark or seemingly depressing issues, but I always find that through the musical process, I end up feeling much better. And because of that, I think the message is always quite hopeful. But I think the album in general is still really positive. Because we wrote it when we were coming out of lockdown, it definitely has a nice energy to it. It’s not all just down in the dumps. It’s got a good vibe.
HAPPY: Did being split up during that songwriting process impact you creatively?
MURRAY: Luckily, we’ve always just done it on laptops anyway since the start. We make nearly all the music just inside of the laptop and always have done since the first song we ever made. So loads of our friends in other bands really struggled in lockdown to write and record music because they actually have to be together, but we don’t get together anyway, so.
OLIVER: We never hang out unless we have to!
HAPPY: You’ve released three tracks from the album so far, DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY is one of them. I read somewhere that it’s about a passing crush on a teacher, is that right?
MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, everyone fancies their teachers, right?
OLIVER: I think all five of us did!
SAM: My first ever teacher that I had a crush on, I was like, four years old.
MURRAY: Four years old?!
SAM: Yeah, I brought her a chocolate milkshake. It was her favourite drink.
MURRAY: Yeah, so it’s just about that kind of typical student idea of fancying your teacher, or your university lecturer, or just someone that you’re obviously never going to have a fling with. That’s where the idea started. I guess it could be expanded out to just general unrequited love of any form. It was about a teacher, but it’s not a real person that we’ve put on the record. It’s a fictional character. Because that would be really weird if there’s now, like, a 70-year-old retired geography teacher somewhere that was like, “what?”
HAPPY: You released an animated music video for DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY as well which was very sweet and cinematic. How did the idea for the video come about?
MURRAY: So, the director of that is a guy called Will Child. He’s a friend of ours. He lives in Bristol and he helped us with the artwork of the album. We wanted to keep everything inside of that world of claymation. So he got to work on the music video. Took him so long, bless him. Like, he has to take 24 pictures for each second of the music video. It’s a lot of work, but he smashed it. And yeah, because the song is kind of retro and cute, we wanted a video to match. And we always wanted to work with him, as well. We were huge fans of his work. He’s done loads of incredible videos, and we were just super lucky. We reached out to him and he was down. We were stoked, actually.
OLIVER: I saw that Murray had reached out to him on Instagram and I was like, no way you reached out to this guy. He’s like, the sickest guy. And when he agreed to do it, I was like, no fucking way! So we’re still really happy with the album artwork. I feel like it’s our best artwork yet. Shout out to Will Child!
HAPPY: The track features Kevin Abstract, Brockhampton frontman. What was it like working with him?
MURRAY: Yeah, he’s a legend, man. It was actually in January of this year. I was in LA and we met up. And LA can be super lonely because it’s so spread out and everyone’s, like, really trendy and doesn’t want to hang out with you. But Kevin sort of broke that and he took me under his wing basically, and took me out for food, and to the bars. And he was really sweet. One day, we went to the studio and we were playing each other our new projects, and when he heard DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY, he just got gassed. He was like, “can I do a bit on this?” and I was like, “yeah sure.” The rest is history.
JORDAN: What’s that story of you trying to get in his car?
MURRAY: Oh, yeah. So obviously Kevin is super cool, and I’m super awkward. When I first met him, I was like, hella nervous. I hate meeting celebrities. They scare the shit at me. I hate it. I don’t know what to say, or do, or wear, or all of those things. And I’m an anxious person. But anyway, I won’t get into that. I’m standing on this street in LA, and one of the producers of Brockhampton pulls up in this crazy Tesla. I’ve never been in a Tesla in my life. And they’re all in there. And I’m like, I’ve just got to get in this car and, like, handle it. But I can’t open the door! Have you ever been in a Tesla before?
MURRAY: Well, the door doesn’t have a latch. Everything’s, like, flush. So you have to press this thing and it just comes out towards you. Just YouTube a Tesla door handle review. You’ll see. Anyway, so I couldn’t get in this car, and Brockhampton was just laughing at how stupid I was. And that broke the ice. They found it endearing how British and awkward I was. That’s like a secret weapon in America, just being British. Gets you quite far.
HAPPY: Your first album, life’s a beach did incredibly well. After it launched, you played a string of sold-out shows across Europe and the US. Can you tell us a crazy tour story? What’s the strangest or funniest experience you guys have had on tour?
SAM: The weirdest shit. So basically, there was this bus on tour and it sleeps, like, 16 people. And every bunk on that tour was full. So imagine 16 people just living together for three or four weeks. Weird shit goes down!
LEWIS: I mean, the first time we went to America, we got on a tour bus, and we didn’t realise the suspension was broken.
OLIVER: The shock absorbers!
LEWIS: Right, the shock absorbers. So we spent the whole night, like, bouncing along and getting thrown out of beds and falling out of beds.
OLIVER: And we got to a point where it was six in the morning and we were just pissing ourselves!
SAM: No one was sleeping.
LEWIS: And all I could think was, there’s 31 days on this!
SAM: So it turned out, they’d sent us a broken bus.
LEWIS: And I was just like, we’ve got to get rid of this bus! But then the second one, in all fairness, still wasn’t great. We basically had to get a cheap one, because the budget was tight. It was the first time we’d been to America, so we didn’t quite get the nightliners we get to have in the UK right now. But it was incredibly scary to think we’re on this for 30 days.
MURRAY: There’s so many potholes in America as well, and I’m a tiny dude. I weigh nothing, and I was fucking flying!
SAM: But seeing places we’d never been to was incredible. All the places we played, like St Paul’s, going through Lincoln, Nebraska…all these, like, flyover states, but no one really goes there.
OLIVER: I’d still say Brooklyn is one of my favourite places to visit on tour.
MURRAY: The thing is, when you’re actually on tour, you get treated differently to when you’re on holiday. People are gassed to see you, and they’ll show you around. You get a really interesting perspective on a city because of touring. Every single time though, we just end up getting really drunk, wherever we may be. People want to drink with us, and we want to drink with them.
LEWIS: We’ve just been to Japan! That is crazy.
MURRAY: We got hammered every night.
OLIVER: And there were fans in the airport as we arrived. Unexpected, unannounced. I don’t know how they knew we were arriving, but they did. And the same with Korea. We just hadn’t experienced this. The first moment we started walking around Tokyo, we were sticking out like sore thumbs. Like, we just looked like tourists. And this guy comes up to us to get a photo, just straight away. We thought, oh that’s just a coincidence. But then it started happening everywhere. And we were like, “wow. Is this what life could be? Let’s fucking move to Japan!”
MURRAY: And then they all wanted to go out with us. They were taking us to nightclubs, restaurants, karaoke…we’ve been doing mad karaoke! It’s insane. They love karaoke. They go on their own! Like, on their days off, they go on their own to practice karaoke.
OLIVER: We found that mad. I couldn’t believe that.
SAM: That’s the craziest bit about touring. You find out about all of these cultural events that happen that are just a massive part of people’s lives.
HAPPY: Which track from the upcoming album are you most looking forward to playing live and why?
MURRAY: I straight-up love playing BEESWAX. We’ve been playing it for like, six months now. And it’s just crazy. On that song, I managed to find a small part of myself that’s just super rowdy, crazy and egotistical. I get to be that person on stage for three minutes and it just feels so freeing.
OLIVER: When Murray sent that song over, there was a real message we all could feel within us. Bouncing back from the first record, it was, like, a real thing that we could feel.
JORDAN: That’s why we released it first. Because we all felt exactly the same.
OLIVER: It was completely different to life’s a beach. The production on it was totally different. That’s when we all fell in love, and we were like, there’s a message in this that’s attached to us all, because we’d all experienced the same thing, and managed to blurt it out.
LEWIS: I don’t think we’ve ever played that song bad! There’s been a few songs where we’re like, fuck, we completely fucked that one tonight! But that one…never.
MURRAY: We’ve played BASEMENT as well, which is another high-energy song on the album. We played that the other night for the first time in Korea. Honestly, it’s so sick to play the new stuff, BASEMENT is crazy.
JORDAN: It’s nice to get people’s instant first reaction.
MURRAY: It’s like, you’re playing a song that they’ve never heard, but we already love it.
LEWIS: You’ve got to give them something new. We’ve come from over the pond, it’s like 24 hours, so I feel like it’s the least we can do as well, to play something new.
MURRAY: There’s also GROWING PAINS, which is track two on the album. We were rehearsing it the night before we came out on this tour we’re on now. Oh man, there were some magical moments in the studio when we were recording that song! I remember, we were set up like we would be on stage, and I was looking up at these guys, and you were going so ham! I’d never seen that energy. I thought someone’s head was going to fucking fly off! Those moments, man. I live for those moments.
LEWIS: I think we’re all just super proud of MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE in general. We’re really happy with this record. I’m a superfan of these songs.
HAPPY: I just have one last question for you guys. If we paid you $500K for this interview, what would you do with the money?
OLIVER: Fuck yeah!
MURRAY: Are we getting $500K??
SAM: You’re serious?
LEWIS: I’ll tell you exactly what we’ll do with it. We’ll buy a singular Ferrari, and just take turns.
SAM: No, we’d all buy motorbikes. We’ve been trying to buy motorbikes.
OLIVER: We’d all get bike licenses and just get Harley-Davidsons.
MURRAY: Yeah, Harleys.
HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!
MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE will be out across all streaming platforms on October 7. Pre-order here.
Check out Easy Life’s upcoming tour dates here.
Interviewed by Amy Davidson.