“Our whole vibe is sort of happy/sad, realistic/dreamlike,” Easy Life frontman Murray Matravers tells Apple Music. “The whole idea of putting two things that don't belong together—our music and the aesthetic is kind of uplifting, but then I love to have a platform to speak about sad or concerning, troubling things. I think this mixtape, or EP or whatever you want to call it, does exactly that.” He’s right. Junk Food is a collage of hip-hop swings, jazz flourishes, Vine samples, breezy vocals, and effortless melodies strewn across songs which tell darker stories. “It’s all about the culture of throwing stuff away,” Matravers says. “A nodding of the head to how fucked up things are getting.” Join him on an immersive track-by-track guide.
7 Magpies “I was in Wales or something with my girlfriend. We saw a magpie and I kind of got obsessed with it and put it in a song. I’m actually a little obsessed with old English idioms and dialects and the way people use them. We're from Leicester, which is in the Midlands. Around here, the way people speak and the words they use are just so magical. And I think if you trace that love of dialect, it goes back to nursery rhymes.”
Nice Guys “It’s the most upbeat song we’ve ever written. We were amazed that we'd actually written something with that energy. ‘Nice Guys’ is loads of fun to play because myself and Sam, we make up this horn section of Easy Life and then start jamming on our trumpets. It gets a bit jazzy and a bit fun.”
Sangria (feat. Arlo Parks) “It just sat on the hard drive for ages. I felt like it was missing a verse and needed some fresh vibes, so I sent it to [South London singer-poet] Arlo to see what she thought. Literally that same day, she sent me her verse back, recorded on a shitty mic in her bedroom. I was like, ‘Oh, do you want to come to the studio tomorrow to record this properly?’”
LS6 “This is super personal. LS6 is an area of Leeds called Hyde Park Corner. My brother has lived there for nine years now. Growing up, my brother was, still is, an anchor and a spiritual guide and all the other things a young man needs in his life. I happened to spend so much time in the LS6 area, and one of those times we wrote this song. I was partying a lot and doing a lot of pharmaceutical drugs. Well, not a lot. Not in a rock ’n’ roll way. I don't want to glorify this. ‘LS6’ has a beautiful positive spin in the chorus. I was laughing at the time, doing it. But when I listen to the tone of the verses, I definitely do sound a little upset, but I think it's a good thing.”
Dead Celebrities “We were driving from our hotel to the studio in LA and went past this museum called the Museum of the Dearly Departed. Me and Rob [Milton, the band’s producer] were like, ‘What is the fucking obsession with dead celebrities around here? What is celebrity anyway, and why are people obsessed with it?’ We then got onto these cemeteries full of plastic and just how people just throw away everything. I think it’s the pinnacle of everything I despise about celebrity culture.”
Earth “For me, the bridge is one of my favorite parts of the song because it gives it that lift into a different world. The lyrics combined with the melody and produced with all the reverb gives it a dreamy sort of spacious feel, which isn't usually a feel we go for. Usually we produce our vocal really dry and really upfront.”
Spiders “I always like to leave a mixtape or an EP on a very real and fairly depressing note. We wanted to conclude the tape and be like, ‘Look, despite all this grand imagery and metaphors of celebrity and the world being all fucked up, really on a day-to-day basis, I'm just sort of going through shit stuff in a personal relationship, way closer to home than these huge grand ideas.’ I grew up on a farm and I'm down for any animal—large, small, creepy crawlies in general, snakes, whatever. But spiders…. Bro! Basically, who’s going to pick up the spiders and deal with all the other stuff that's scary in life? This person I'm singing to is gone.”