After a second-place position in the BBC’s Sound of 2020 shortlist, Leicester’s Easy Life has a lot to live up to. Upon the release of their third mixtape Junk Food, the spotlight is on this band more than ever before but unfortunately, I don’t think Junk Food’s underwhelming selection of tracks is the one to launch their career.
Opening track ‘7 Magpies’ is a perfect tone-setter for the mixtape, short-lived and smothered in a sort of nursery rhyme level wit backed up with delightfully lo-fi chill hip-hop instrumentals. This level of quality is inconsistent at best throughout Junk Food’s incredibly short run time at 19 minutes long.
‘Single Nice Guys’ is the best mixture of agreeable, elevator music paired with cheesy lyrics, a somewhat danceable bop that sells the band well and it’s followed by the best track on the album, ‘Sangria’ with Arlo Parks. ‘Sangria’ is a beautiful and well written smooth piece that pairs Parks’ dreamy vocals with a pulsating synth beat you can’t help but rock to.
It’s disappointing however that, while Junk Food can hit some very high points, it punctuates them with particularly unenjoyable moments like the boring ‘LS6’ which sounds like an awkwardly painful mashup of Jamie T’s vocals from Panic Prevention and a jaunty Macklemore-style piano. Elsewhere lead single ‘Earth’ pretends to have a serious message about climate change but doesn’t say anything, trying very hard to be relevant by sampling a nine-year-old meme of a child stuttering.
I appreciate the effort to bring this style of lo-fi hip-hop into the mainstream but Junk Food is exactly as it says on the tin, a brief unsatisfying meal with no real depth. It tastes good at times but once you’re done you’re very aware of how lacking it is.
Haiku Review Lo-fi hip-hop beats, built for mainstream consumption. Too sour for me.
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