While their debut album life's a beach arrived over a year ago, it might as well be a lifetime ago. So in that sense, the title of their newly released sophomore album, dubbed Maybe in Another Life..., seems fitting.
The new record was released on Friday (Oct. 7) and it finds the band exploring different musical sounds compared to the first record. But it also arrives as the group finds themselves in a different world figuratively.
In May 2021, when their first album was released, there was a near-global sense of excitement as much of the Western world "reopened" following months of strain from the pandemic. Venues were opening back up and festivals couldn't announce their comeback lineups fast enough. "Live music is back," read marquees and T-shirts happily declared.
A year and a half later, live music is still rebounding, but it's hitting some speed bumps, as easy life is realizing with the announcement of their 2023 North American tour next spring, which follows the U.K. outfit's U.S. trek earlier this year, including their Coachella debut back in April.
"Our pounds won't take us as far as they used to, sadly," frontman Murray Matravers tells Variance, with a simultaneous sense of candidness and humility in his voice as he chuckles lightly. "We're just going to have to drink less beers. But other than that, it's going to be amazing."
If anything, Matravers is looking to their recent U.S. tour as inspiration. "We had 14 shows—East Coast, West Coast, and then traveling through the Midwest as well. We had an amazing time. It was crazy, like something that's everybody's dream from England, to do a road trip in America. So to actually achieve that and do that with your best mates, it was really something special."
The band has plenty to be excited about right now. Tickets for the 2023 just went on sale and they're still riding high off their recent performance at Glastonbury, the English mega-festival where they were joined by BROCKHAMPTON mastermind Kevin Abstract. And perhaps given the unpredictable state of the world, the record is just that much more timely, as it hones in on silver linings and trying to make sense of such complicated moments.
Acknowledging the sunnier side of life's a beach, Matravers says: "I think growing up, sometimes you're just constantly busying yourself doing things. You need school. You want to achieve as much as possible, as quick as possible. Everyone's raring to go. So it's easy not to actually ever deal with any sort of trauma or anything that's ever happened to you. And some people never even deal with that their whole lives. They just keep going."
He continues, noting the reflection from his personal experience: "Lockdown allowed for this sort of break that it gave us from touring, and it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the journey I've had with the bad and also just life and growing up. And maybe that's why the record gets so introverted and slightly more melancholy, because yeah, I finally gave myself the time to process where we are and where we've come from."
As Matravers puts it, maybe because of his looking so much more inwardly this time around, the record flowed that much more easily. That inspiration is evident even until the closing track, "Fortune Cookie," which declares on the chorus: "If you believe you're in need of repair / Take care, take care."
"I'm convinced that if it's happened to me, chances are it's happened to a lot of other people," the singer says of how he hopes fans relate to the record. "I think just talking about it and being open about your feelings and stuff, it can be quite difficult. So I just hope this record resonates with [listeners] and hopefully it encourages them. But more than that, I just hope they enjoy it. I hope people put it on when they're on their journeys."
He adds: "I always put music on in the car, and if it snaps in the car, then you know it's good."■