New Music Review - in earnest
Without doubt, one of our favourite discoveries of 2020 has been Southend-on-Sea's masters of sad indie music, in earnest and we're delighted to hear that their self-titled debut EP has finally been released!
Sarah, Thomas and Toby make up the band and the EP was written in an attempt to encourage conversation about mental health.
"It's a dialogue from two perspectives; a call from one who feels too much and a response from the other who must plead for them to stay alive."
It explores themes of hope vs hopelessness, desperation, loneliness and identity and indeed, the raw emotion and openness is clear to see throughout the album.
Opening with the poignant 29, this is a tale of childhood memories that Tom wrote on his 29th birthday, told beautifully with a couple of simple guitar tracks and sentimental strings, something that listeners will appreciate throughout.
As we mentioned earlier, the EP is told from two perspectives, and put me under, the second track demonstrates this perfectly, with Sarah stepping forward to take over the vocals with ease. This track was the band's debut and was where we first fell in love with the captivating sound that in earnest have forged.
For me though, the highlight of the whole EP is the immaculate come upstairs, a track which remains the only song we have ever given a 10/10 review score to, when it was released back in July. Tom's voice has a touch of the Ed Sheeran about it, supported perfectly with some beautiful harmonising from Sarah.
The final three songs on the EP are fables, in between and the house. Each of these songs have been crafted with intricate precision, delicate and tinged with sadness. I feel that the bar was set very high with the first three songs and it was going to be difficult to match the raw emotion that the first half of the EP had produced. However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that each of the other tracks maintained the exceptional quality that we've become accustomed to.
When you listen to the EP, I would urge you to look deeply into the subject matter. Listen carefully to the beautiful soundscapes that the band have woven and remark at the perfectly intertwined vocals that Tom and Sarah present to you.
in earnest has to be the most thought-provoking album of the year, charming from the get-go and flawless throughout. I love it!