in earnest Set To Release New 6-Track EP “reasons to stay alive” due 8th October
In earnest return with their forthcoming sophomore EP release “reasons to stay alive”, due 8th October. The new EP is a gapless 6 track record that is described as looping back around into a cyclical piece of art. It truly is one of the most harrowing records we’ve experienced. The Southend-on-Sea (UK) trio is fuelled by the songwriting of front-couple Sarah Holburn and Tom Eatherton, and joined by instrumentalist Toby Shaer, the three musicians are days away from releasing their next masterpiece.
The EP was recorded over 4 days in September 2020 and also features their debut instrumental track composed by Toby. ‘reasons to stay alive’ will resonate with fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Big Thief and Julien Baker. in earnest are performing the full EP live at Chinnerys (Southend) on 14th Oct, followed by The Amersham Arms (London) on 21st Oct. They will soon be releasing a visual accompaniment to the EP in the form of a short film
‘reasons to stay alive’ is described as tackling topics such as despair, gratitude, suicidal thoughts and the climate crisis. Diving deeper and even more unflinchingly into their thematic content, in earnest showcase a unique blend of indie, folk and post-rock with progressive tendencies.
The band explains: “The EP took its title from a book by Matt Haig, which originally inspired us to talk so openly about mental illness. We wrote these songs to document our personal highs and lows over the past couple of years; the whole record is cyclical to reflect how most of us have felt stuck in an endless loop.”
1. the days in between
2. i feel alone even if i’m not
3. comforts of home
5. welcome to hope county
6. hands are tied
The new EP “reasons to stay alive” is destined to be one of the most moving orchestrations of this year. This record has been recorded and produced in such a way that you simply must embrace each track as one-piece and in all its entirety, in earnest have created this full-bodied EP which oozes sentiment and this growing intensity that showcases the flawless songwriting skills and musical accomplishment by each musician forming this outfit. This immersive creation harvests your full attention where you relish in the pure affection that consumes the vision, you find this connection and commit to the journey this trio designed.
“the days in between” begins with this wealth of emotion colliding with the delicate vocal notes and raw lyrics and the depth of the soundscape being built from the get-go. Elongated notes resonate in this vast and ambient landscape. Immediately we understand the power of this outfit and the appeal of the fragile yet engulfing and ethereal vocals on display. The strings bring this jarring influence into the tender world produced. As the first single starts to diminish, the energy once again builds up with this sudden use of these angular textures bringing this almighty wave of anguish into the vision, the intensity heightens and you glide into the new arrangement “i feel alone even if i’m not”. This crisp guitar tone plays a course of dazzling notes and the audience is introduced to Tom’s vocal harmonies which lead the arrangement’s proceedings. Tom manipulates the atmosphere that came before with the brooding harmony on offer and the intimate lyrics that channel such heartfelt yet somber energy. Dual vocal harmonies unite as the powerful peaks of this ensemble as Sarah’s delicate and softer harmonies elevate the importance of the verse lifting the melody more.
Within the first 2 tracks, the audience appreciates the deeply compelling releases that emit this unique emotional power.
As the record allows the expressive strings to dynamically shift the exploration and gently alter the course that came prior, “comforts of home” allow this instrumental orchestration to inject further creativity into this record. A world where ambient and folk-rock collide. The tonality of the strings and this brighter infliction adds this certain warmth to the track which in turn provides comfort that the audience can relate to. Fusing in real-life samples of laughter and conversation whilst the tone sparks that profound comfort we connect with and attach to.
Sarah’s sublime melody ties in the next track “humans”. With this piece, the audience can experience this almost brutalist soundscape captured from the depth of the textures which sculpt the landscape of this stirring ensemble. Whilst the darker attributes of this piece add this heavier notion to the track, it’s the sweeter and clear vocal notes that bring a contrast to the creation. Once the intensely melodic piece” welcome to hope country” emerges, this feeling of spring and hope shine amongst this innovative composition. As this track follows the darker ensemble, this refreshing comfort sweeps into focus and adds this stunning beauty and cathartic uplift as Tom steers the voyage once more.
Finally “hands are tied” chimes into the world with the repetitive yet stirring piano keys that lead the composition, whilst the expressive guitar riff starts to add this defining layer into the atmospherical piece. As layer upon layer is fed as integral pieces into this world, this robust push of energy brings this cathartic and moving motion to this exquisite orchestration. Resonating that pure influence in earnest infuses in their vision effortlessly. The final track on this EP allows the dense production and engrossing narratives to manipulate the harrowing voyage of this record.
in earnest have created this beautiful body of work which brings this real essence of life within their recorded work. Resilience is captured within the entire adventure which we can interpret in whatever way we need. Lashes of volatility cascade throughout the insightful lyrics and crushing instrumentation. Meandering through gentle tides to sudden stormy paths, managing to capture this feeling of light and hope within the turns of their course, it’s such an impressive feat for an act still so young.
As we’ve boasted before, in earnest capture such vulnerability into words and then equally honor that whilst performing those lines, such a meaningful skill they possess. The trio adds their own character and this clear array of affection into their compositions. Addressing topics with anguish, pain, and then resolution and beauty. Rich textures and minimalist phrases counter the tender lyrics and captivating climatic crescendos. Whether it’s the sweeping instrumentation, the vivid lyrics, or the poignant progress, this is a sensational listen that will leave this lasting impression. Complex musicianship channeling the ups and downs in which 22 minutes 12 seconds provides one of the most consuming routes- an imperative record.
“reasons to stay alive” provides this unmissable & powerful ride.