Trending:

Easy Life – On the road with the carnage-creating Leicester gang: “It’s like we’re in Metallica!”

Easy Life are the genre-bending Leicester band who make jazz-tinged R&B you can mosh to. In the midst of their biggest UK tour to date, Thomas Smith finds a band on the cusp of something truly special. Photos: Vzavz

Here’s a list of things that go flying through the air at Easy Life gigs: flower crowns from fans, actual lemons (a reference to their song ‘Nightmares’), confetti from a fucking massive pair of cannons, and their lead singer, Murray Matravers. Every night on their recent UK tour, the singer has been Instagrammed and Snapchatted throwing himself on top of and amongst the band’s loyal fans. At their London stop-off in October at Brixton Electric, Murray stripped down to his pants and socks and threw himself onto an ocean of awaiting hands.

“There’s 10 levels of stage-diving, and I’d say I’ve only just graduated to Level 2,” Murray tells NME a week later at their tour stop at Brighton’s Old Market. “When I see some people doing massive diving they look incredible, but my style still needs sorting. I need to go trampolining or something, because that’s a really good way to learn how to get stage-diving and fall properly. I’m not very stylish when I’m stage-diving, I just look like a tiny egg floating around.”

Advertisement

If you’ve listened to Easy Life and are confused about how they’ve attracted the rowdiest crowds in the country, you’re not alone. The Leicester gang’s USP is blissed-out, jazz-tinged, pop-laden bangers for the No-Genre Generation. While recently released song ‘Nice Guys’ is a funky Anderson .Paak-sized groover, their 2017 breakout hit ‘Pockets’ is a low-key indie anthem. As such, teenagers from all over the musical spectrum meet in the middle for Easy Life: a young band making tunes for audiences that ravages all kinds of music like they do.

“I’m not very stylish when I’m stage-diving, I just look like a tiny egg floating around” – Murray Matravers

It’s an exciting time for Easy Life right now. They’ve just released a new song ‘Sangria’, a sensual cut with friend and fellow up-and-comer Arlo Parks whose heavenly vocals playfully intertwine with Murray’s. In January, they’ll release their latest mixtape ‘Junk Food’ and then a couple months later, they’re set to play their biggest headline show to date at London’s Roundhouse. In the summer, they’ll support Kasabian at their Victoria Park in their hometown of Leicester. A debut album will surely be on the cards soon thereafter.

 

Their genre-bending mentality means that they’re mopping up fans from all over the nation, and they can find a spot on any bill. “It feels like there’s no genre for us,” Murray says. “We’re working with people miles away from what people think we should be like.” Guitarist Lewis Berry adds: “The people who listen to us listen to a huge spectrum [of music]. We can bring anyone into our atmosphere that all of our fans will love.” 

Advertisement

But they’re just as confused as anyone as to how it got this intense. “We have nice love ballad called ‘Temporary Love Pt 2’ and in London people were moshing to it. To that song, of all of them.” Murray laughs. “I don’t know how we got to this point where we’re getting naked and crowd surfing at our gigs,” guitarist Lewis adds. “When we first started, I thought everyone in the crowd would be chill and blazed, now I feel like I’m in Metallica!” Next step? “Flamethrowers!” they reply in unison. Mr Hetfield would be so proud.

They’ve also got a notch on the belt that few other pre-debut British artists have: playing Coachella. The five-piece – completed by drummer Oliver Cassidy, saxophonist/bassist Sam Hewitt and keyboardist Jordan Birtles – headed out to California earlier this year to play the US festival and found they were entering a new world: the fans weren’t rowdy and the atmosphere was tricky. “The vibe is really different. You can’t drink anywhere, you can’t smoke weed,” Murray says. “The location and music was brilliant, but the crowds were just taking selfies during everyone’s sets. I don’t think many people had much of a good time.”

They did come away with the goods, though. ‘Nice Guys’ and upcoming song ‘Dead Celebrities’ were both written in or inspired by their California trip and the influence on both is obvious. ‘Nice Guys’ has a West Coast vibe from start to finish, while the showbiz nature of Los Angeles is dealt with on the playful ‘Dead Celebrities’. It’s now somewhere Murray likes to head out to work with new producers and creatives. An upcoming release, ‘A Message To Myself’, was worked on with a big-name US hip-hop producer, and features the band’s most out-there production yet. “It’s just the weirdest song we’ve ever done,” Murray teases.

Seeing Easy Life up close means the music makes sense — they’re five lads with a penchant for music from all over the place and with fingers in many a creative pie. They painstakingly work on making their videos as iconoclastic as possible (see the Donald Trump-starring video for ‘Nice Guys’), and are always seeking out new collaborators. “It’s just five in the live band,” Lewis explains, “but there’s so many people behind it with us.”

The boys are remaining humble, despite an ever-growing list of collaborators and a record deal with Island (U2, Amy Winehouse, Drake). “We played our first show in Wales the other day in Cardiff. The night before we’d sold out Brixton Electric with confetti cannons and had the full works, then the very next day we’re in an O’Neill’s to a hundred people,” Murray says. “Me and Vzavz [tour photographer] went into the crowd to get some pictures and it was just me and him moshing. It was a humbling gig.”

On this tour, they’ve got a guaranteed stan at every venue. Rumi, an Easy Life fan from South Korea, has been following the boys on tour at every single show. She regularly hangs out with the lads at soundcheck, has been making friends along the way, and even wrote Murray a sweet letter to celebrate his recent birthday. 

They want to continue to branch out with new fans from all over the globe – and their next target? Grannies. “What I like is when you get dads and their kids to come down. He might like it because he saw us on Later… with Jools Holland or something and stand at the back, but his kids can just get fucked up in the moshpit or something.

“I want to have people who are like my nan’s age coming to our shows – I want fun for all the family.” We suspect Murray will be doing somersaults by that point, though.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Juice WRLD, 1998-2019 – the NME obituary

The Chicago rapper has died from a seizure at the age of 21

The Best Songs Of The Decade: The 2010s

Here – after much debate – are the 100 very best songs of 2010s

The Best Albums of The Decade: The 2010s

Here it is: the ultimate guide to the 100 essential albums of the 2010s, picked, ranked and dissected by NME experts
Advertisement