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EP Review: Easy Life – Junk Food

Written by Album reviews, Music

Following ‘Creature Habits’ and ‘Spaceships’ alongside many singles that have already earned the band a large fanbase known for wreaking havoc at live shows, and much support from the likes of BBC and NME, Easy Life just dropped their third mixtape, Junk Food, which may well be the best one yet.

‘7 Magpies’ seems to follow the band’s pattern of serving up the first tune as a slow intro into the EP before things kick-off properly with ‘Nice Guys’, a single released last year that has already worked its way into the setlist. A very fast-paced beat the provides an infectious groove that obviously focuses on life as a guy who becomes infatuated easily but chooses his loves wisely – this one’s definitely an earworm.

‘Sangria’ was also released in 2019, the band’s first-ever collaboration and with Arlo Parks no less, but is almost the opposite: a slow beat with slick lyric delivery. I cannot help singing along to the catchy chorus line “I fucking hate it when you leave, ’cause you’ve got something that I need, and I’m not zen enough to do this each week”. Two rising stars rap about the churning feeling of young love, and it certainly comes across as genuine.

‘LS6’ is another chilled song, featuring a slow piano progression with a catchy hook that starts with a verse about seasonal depression and doesn’t get much more optimistic from there, despite the upbeat melody backdropping the vague words.

‘Dead Celebrities’ was dropped just a couple of days before the mixtape as a single to hype up the release, and it definitely accomplished that goal, already appearing to be a fan favourite. Speaking of the link between the rise to stardom and the pitfalls of the lifestyle that it tends to bring, “sign my membership for the 27 Club” refers to the list of celebrities that such the heights of fame, but then tragically die at the young age of 27 for various reasons that make a quick rise to success dangerous and unsustainable. The line “all I need’s respect, maybe I’ll get it when I’m dead” also comes across as commentary on the fact that such people seem to idolised upon their passing, although whether they are worthy of this is questionable. It’s quite a feat that all of these astute observations on LA culture are packed into a catchy tune by a band from the East Midlands.

Describing the disappointment of an alien experience human culture for the first time, ‘Earth’ features captivating synth instrumentals and a hilariously sampled stuttering kid meme. “We fill up with junk food and ruin the classics but look at me, I’m just so fucking attractive” sums up the vain culture that humans foster to the detriment of our own culture and environment, to which this POV alien understandably reacts with “I don’t feel at home on this planet“.

The last track, ‘Spiders’, expresses the post-breakup fear of having no one to care for you anymore; hence, “who’s gonna pick up the spiders?” this seems to be Easy Life’s version of a ballad, with layered vocals and slow guitar that eventually strips back to just Murray and a piano. This is a beautiful song to end the mixtape and I can definitely picture it getting screamed out word-for-word at live shows.

Lyrically poignant at every opportunity with songs that get stuck in your head and have you dancing across the room to the beat or staring at a wall focusing on the words, this mixtape is a great point for new listeners to jump on board before the Easy Life cult inevitably explodes in 2020, especially with evergrowing word-of-mouth recommendation and their debut album just around the corner. 

(4/5)

Last modified: 20th January 2020

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