in earnest breaks into the British alternative scene with their self-titled debut EP, out October 7. The trio dives into the scary, incredibly important conversation of mental health with their six-track EP. In earnest proclaims their first EP to be an “exploration of mental illness, nostalgia, and hope vs. hopelessness”; the band dives into these themes while tugging at the listener’s heartstrings… just what in earnest seems to have planned.

in earnest was formed in 2019 with the intention of creating extraordinarily honest lyrics based on the mental health struggles the members of the band have personally faced. The band starts a conversation with ’29’, a song about feeling nothing but negativity towards aging as well as the mental hardships that come with growing older. ’29’ shows what it’s like to yearn for the past. The song is a perfect opener, allowing the listener to dip their toes into the deep pool of emotion that comes with this EP.

Track two, ‘put me under’ is a cry that is answered by track three: ‘come upstairs’. The two songs are accounts of experiences of the two lead singers- female and male vocalists who switch off vocal duties depending on what the song calls for, a choice that creates a sound that is reminiscent of the vocal style of The XX, but still entirely unique to in earnest. ‘Fables’ sits at track four, holding its spot with a beautiful string section.

Then there’s track five ‘in between’, which is only slightly more up-tempo than the rest of the very acoustic EP; it significantly stands out. The song is an “ode to individuality,” reminding the listener that it is essential to stay true to yourself no matter how hard it may seem. in earnest closes out their debut EP with ‘the house’, a reminder that a person is not their mental illness; instead, their mental illness is only a small part of the person.

Each song was recorded in full live takes and endured minimal editing, a choice that was indeed well thought out as it perfectly conveys the heavy emotions in each track. Each song feels as though it belongs on a playlist alongside Cigarettes After Sex, Bon Iver, or Pheobe Bridgers.

in earnest reflects upon feelings of uncertainty, romanticizing the past, and feeling absolutely lost in the world. The listener leaves the EP with a taste of self-reflection that will come back with each listen. The EP is a fantastic listen as individual songs, although it is worth listening through from track one to track six on your first go.

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