Fine purveyors of sad indie noise from Southend-on-Sea, the trio of In Earnest recently released their seminal new EP, ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’, tipping it to be their most emotional and progressive work to date. A cyclical piece of music where each song transitions seamlessly into the next, while the complete piece loops around to create a moving piece of art, the new EP has been rightly generating a wave of hype, with publications like Circuit Sweet and TUNED UP lauding it for it’s honest, poetic sound and fearless vulnerability.
An effortlessly impressive band that is built on the talents of Sarah Holburn, Tom Eatherton, and Toby Shaer, In Earnest have been on our radar for some time, but their new EP is something that no one could have seen coming. Ethereal, emotive, and universally relatable, it’s an intoxicating, even harrowing release that journeys through sad, lost moments, the trials of life, and losing battles with anxiety and mental health.
Opening with ‘The Day In Between’, the band waste no time in setting the tone for the new record, carving out a gorgeous path through modern indie with Holburn’s smooth, textured vocals and soft, lingering instrumentals. A song weighed down by emotional entanglement, it shines through an underlying sadness, creating a melancholy feel that drifts through all six of the EP’s songs. In the following number, ‘I Feel Alone Even If I’m Not’, Eatherton takes over vocals, delivering a powerful, almost sombre sound that is layered with graceful guitar chords and plenty of gentle atmospherics.
It’s this interplay and trade-off between Holburn and Eatherton that holds firm through the EP, and with each song, whether it’s poetic, isolating ‘Humans’, the reflective, introspective ‘Hands Are Tired’, or even the nostalgic, often wistful ‘Comforts of Home’, their partnership brings it all together, creating an incredible personal connection that transcends the music and draws the listener in. Shaer’s contributions however can’t be ignored, and his instrumentation is perfectly done, adding depth and colour to the songs, while the gapless, cyclical style isn’t just innovative, but wonderfully fitting, creating a deep, expansive sound that ebbs, flows, and constantly pulls you closer.
An EP that shines because of its frail, human moments, ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ is a true and unyielding exploration of our darker moments, offering a keen ear and helping hand to anyone who needs them. Traversing the never-ending highs, lows, triumphs, and failures of life, everything about the EP is softly spoken and explored through hushed, gentle moments, ensuring it hits with maximum clarity.
An EP to hold on to, ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ is arguably one of the bravest and most life-affirming releases of the year so far.
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