Easy Life Had The Troubadour Crowd Singing All Night Long
LOS ANGELES, CA- It may have come out last year, but if you’re looking for an album to add to your summer rotation, I’ve got this recommendation for you: Easy Life’s “life’s a beach”. Trust me… you’ll be feeling pretty darn cool when your friends ask you, “What’s playing?” while you are cruising a summer day with the windows down, and you respond, “Oh, these guys? It’s Easy Life. This album came out in 2021. They’ve been working on new stuff too.”
Formed in 2017 by Murray Matravers (lead vocals, synthesizer & trumpet), Easy Life is a group of friends based out of Leicester, England [Oliver Cassidy (drums, percussion), Sam Hewitt (bass guitar, saxophone, backing vocals), Lewis Alexander Berry (guitar), and Jordan Birtles – (percussion, keyboard, backing vocals)] whose catchy melodies not only blur the line between indie pop and hip-hop but also are infused with the spirit of friendship. Their music is effortlessly breezy and free-flowing, and that kind of innate joy can really only exist if the foundation upon which they create is one that’s equally breezy and free-flowing. During the pandemic, when people were dwelling on social divides, misguided politics, and general depression, they focus on messages of self-love and a future filled with positivity backed by a soundtrack that was upbeat and funky. Being close friends surely played a part in the all-around good vibes of their music on “life’s a beach.”
I first caught these chaps back in 2019 when they performed at South by Southwest and they left a very positive impression. They were supposed to tour the United States in 2020, with a date to play the Troubadour in March … but we all know what that didn’t happen. When I heard they were planning on fulfilling their Troubadour date with the final performance of their U.S. tour earlier this month, I made it a point to catch them at the legendary venue.
Opening for Easy Life at the Troubadour was the lead singer, Gianluca Buccellati, of the band White China. He explained that he was a late addition to the evening’s fare. Murray gave him a frantic call “last minute” to perform, and he jumped at the opportunity.
Though I wasn’t familiar with White China’s music, I discovered… after doing a little digging on the internet… that I was in fact already familiar with some of Luca’s music. Luca produced and co-wrote Arlo Park’s amazing debut album “Collapsed In Sunbeams” (which he apparently produced in a living room). If you haven’t given that album a listen, I suggest you do so now. He also worked co-wrote and co-produced the track “Have a Great Day” from Easy Life’s debut album.
Performing solo with just his electric guitar and a drum machine/tracks, he performed a relatively mellow set, but he kept the energy of it up with his deadpan humor between songs. The small sampling that I got from this performance gave me a sense of why Easy Life and Luca worked together well. There’s a real plainspoken, honesty in his lyricism and such a human feel to it all. I could see him in a studio with the band just laughing it up. You get the sense that if Easy Life needed to find another member to join their crew, Luca would fit right in.
Easy Life gave Los Angeles fans exactly what they wanted. After waiting more than 2 years to see these lads live, the packed room was treated to 18 songs that lifted spirits … even lifting Murray up into the air like a spirit (see photo above)… and bringing some much-needed good-good to those still trying to get a handle on post-pandemic life. That moment came to life when they sang the catchphrase of “have a great day”, which came early in the set as their second song, and the crowd shouted along, “I really had a great day.” Only two songs in, and yes… everyone was already having a great day.
I absolutely loved how invested the crowd was. The fact that the crowd was literally singing along to every single song, word for word, was proof to me that Easy Life was giving fans music that mattered. The mood.. the message… this was music that people wanted to sing along to… needed to sing along to.
I don’t think you quite understand how impactful the audience singing along was. There are plenty of big artists who can command a stage, but it’s the rare act that has fans singing along to EVERY song. I’ve been to HUNDREDS of shows… and I know it takes a certain kind of act/music … and they are a rare breed… to get the whole room singing along for 18 songs straight.
Each member of the band worked the stage, giving non-stop action throughout the evening but Sam and Murray exhibited a kinetic type of magnetism as they performed on stage. Murray spent as much time as possible out from behind his keyboard and actively engaged the audience, singing into fans’ faces and dancing across the stage with wild abandon. Sam, scruffy beard and all, was the focus of attention every time he blew out a saxophone solo or thumped a mean bassline.
I loved it when Murray attempted to stage dive into the audience. When he motioned to the crowd located stage right to catch him, they did, but the attempt at crowd surfing fell short after a few feet. Not to be deterred, Murray went back to his spot stage right and encouraged the crowd to it proper, and he jumped into their arms a second time. Getting the swing of things this time around, the crowd carried Murray from stage right, all the way to stage left. An impressive feat, especially in Los Angeles (sorry, LA, but we’re generally a pretty shitty live audience) with music that isn’t necessarily conducive to stage diving, crowd surfing,
When Easy Life closed their performance with their fan-favorite “nightmares”, all I could think was that that was the perfect song to close the night with. As the crowd shouted, “Who gives a fuck about my nightmares? No use in moaning when they’re right there,” there was like an existential, communal release of over two years of pandemic stress. Man, that sound… the voices lifted and those affirmative words… was so spiritually cleansing. I know it sounds cheesy… but it’s the truth.
When Murray sang, “But it’s nothing you should worry yourself about,” and the pointed to the audience to sing the “ohs”, to which everyone sang as loud as they could… that was a feeling that you could revel in for hours, and was another check in the column for why everybody in the room “really had a great day.” I know I did.
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