Since forming in 2017, British group Easy Life have been blazing their own trail with a sound that blends indie rock with hip-hop. But before they started making music themselves, the Easy Life guys (singer Murray Matravers, drummer Oliver “Cass” Cassidy, bassist Sam Hewitt, guitarist Lewis “Lew” Berry and keyboardist Jordan Birtles) established their sound with the help of artists who also pushed boundaries.
On the heels of releasing their latest mixtape, Junk Food, Easy Life wanted to pay tribute to artists they admire with a playlist titled “Modern Trailblazers.”
“All these artists have something that others don’t,” the band tells Billboard in a statement. “Their uniqueness is changing the way people listen to music, and influencing others to try and capture some of their magic.”
The 15-song playlist features stars such as Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, the Creator and the late Mac Miller, while also highlighting rising stars including Doja Cat and Clairo. They also shout out fellow British rising star Arlo Parks, who appears on the Junk Food track “Sangria,” and who Easy Life considers to be “the sweetest girl in show business.”
Easy Life will be playing Junk Food as well as tunes from their two other mixtapes (2018’s Creature Habits and 2019’s Spaceships) overseas and stateside over the next few months on the Junk Food Tour. They’ll start in their native U.K. on March 24, hitting six cities in Europe from March 29 through April 4, before coming to the United States for an eight-show run in May.
Thundercat, “Dragonball Durag”
Thundercat’s silky vocals and distinctive frenzied style on his six-string bass are creating blends of acid jazz, R&B and hip-hop that no one else could possibly dream of. His list of associated acts is a testament to how influential his style is.
Omar Apollo, Dominic Fike & Kenny Beats, “Hit Me Up”
Kenny is one of the most sought after beatmakers in the world right now. He is literally the industry standard for hip-hop production right now.
Arlo Parks, “Super Sad Generation”
Arlo is the sweetest girl in show business, and she’s running the U.K. bedroom pop scene right now. Her music is undeniably beautiful.
Doja Cat, “Mooo!”
Anyone who can write a song about being a cow that we want to listen to needs to be on this list. The video is equally sick. Can’t remember the last time I heard “Old MacDonald” sampled.
Do Nothing, “LeBron James”
Some hot stuff coming out of the Midlands. These guys are putting out a kind of post-punk that makes us play this tune every day.
No wonder J. Cole put these guys on his star studded Dreamville label. EarthGang stand out from the Atlanta hip-hop scene with their mind-blowing energy and visuals. Nothing can compare to their attention to detail in their production. Just listen.
Mac Miller, “Blue World”
The fact that the Circles album still bangs after Mac has gone shows how talented the guy was. His heartache is palpable throughout, and anyone listening is instantly heartbroken. RIP.