In Earnest EP Review - 'in earnest'

Released just over one month ago, A Bright Tomorrow’s Southend-On-Sea favourites, in earnest, have yet again alluringly captured their sad-indie essence in the glorious collation that is their self-titled, debut EP. A pure soundtrack that has soaked up all of October’s apricity, the EP has provided the comfort we all needed in this second period of prolonged uncertainty and isolation throughout the month of November.

In their six-track lyrical exploration into the realm of mental illness, tunnelling deeply into the binary of hopefulness and hopelessness, the complete project is not only a pill for calming daily anxieties but a conduit into provoking extensive thought that can help reach over into that lighter side of those somewhat difficult and conflicting situations we all go through as humans; a true musical healer.

The first track, ‘29’ takes on a self-reflective filter, as the band’s Tom Eatherton sings ‘feeling so much older at twenty-nine years of age’. Despite the wholesome atmospheric harmony, the lyrics trip you up and give you a lump in your throat, reminding you of the importance in recognising the present moment. Time has to keep moving forward and in that reality there follows an uncomfortable shift, in which this track unequivocally expresses.

Followed by ‘put me under’, Sarah delivers the honest and relatable narrative of one suffering from mental health: ‘everyone says to keep going till you see the light’, which is no doubt easier said than done. ‘come upstairs’, intended to be a response to ‘put me under’, carries soothing solace, where the two tracks coupled together embody entirely the duality that is hope and hopelessness.

‘fables’ lures you in with its initial simplicity; solitary synths that are there to accompany the wistful melodies that are all facilitated by Sarah’s elegant vocals. Beautiful natural imagery wanders through your imagination as you listen to the lyrics meander around the acoustic guitar bedding. All is graceful until there is an emotive build and shake up towards the end of the track. ‘Sometimes I feel like nothing’ is repeated and layered up to the point of tension, where it has no choice but to release. The track then ends abruptly, leaving you all cathartic and with goosebumps. Quite possibly the standout track of the EP.

‘in between’ has been described as an ‘ode to individuality and perseverance’ - the track trailing most definitely into that soft indie-folk sound associated with in earnest as you pick out the endearing tone of a tambourine towards the end of the song. Meanwhile, ‘the house’ provides a low-fi, authentically acoustic close to the EP. Including purposeful littering of white noise sounds, the track is nearly a total of six minutes, making it the longest track on the record and concludes this nostalgic set of work profoundly, which collectively is the perfect listen to put on loop for an autumn day.

Produced and mixed by Peter Waterman of Longcroft Recording, the band embraced an ‘organic recording philosophy’ in their approach, recording only full live takes with minimal editing and completely foregoing the use of autotune - demonstrating the EP as an honest testimony to their excellence as musicians.

Since release, in earnest have performed a full set of their EP live on Instagram. Be sure to stream the EP on Spotify and follow the band on their Facebook page to keep up to date with announcements!

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