Meet In Earnest. They’re an Indie Rock trio hailing from Southend-on-Sea in the U.K. In Earnest is a couple Sarah and Tom with close friend Toby. The bands’ music mixes elements of pop, folk, and singer-songwriter to craft songs. Lyrically focusing on personal experiences with mental health and its surrounding dialogue. In Earnest’s debut EP is releasing this year, and their next single ‘Come Upstairs’ is out July 3rd. I interviewed the band on upcoming releases, musical inspirations, and much more below!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I’d like to start by talking about your prior single and the one that made me really tune into your band. Why did you choose ‘Put Me Under’ for your debut single?
IN EARNEST: For all 3 of us, In Earnest is the first musical project that we’ve been in where we really spent time figuring out who we are, what we want to achieve and what our message is. Mental health is a topic that is extremely close to our hearts and forms the backbone of most of our songs, so we decided to choose the singles from the EP based on whether they told our story rather than if they were catchy or accessible. It was difficult to go against those natural instincts, but it was the right decision. ‘Put Me Under’ is a song written and sung by Sarah about her struggles with mental health. The second single, ‘Come Upstairs’ is one of mine (Tom), that is in many ways a direct response to ‘Put Me Under’. The third single is a track that Toby features heavily on, with the idea that each of the 3 singles could introduce one band member at a time.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: The next single your releasing is ‘Come Upstairs’. Can you tell us about the backstory? And why Tom is singing lead in this song? Is this something we can expect to hear more of?
IN EARNEST: ‘Come Upstairs’ is a personal song about living in a relationship where you always have to put on a brave face, stay positive and pull your partner out of the depths of depression. To this day, myself and Sarah have been there so many times and we’re still working out how to live with the looming cloud of depression always lingering. Lyrically, the song has a stream of consciousness style to it and focuses on the intensity of living with such a burden. You might notice the wave of depression pass at around 03:25, as quick as it can do in real life. Usually, the one of us that wrote the song will sing it as they can most easily tap into the energy and emotion. We love the idea of our songs talking to each other, so we’re trying to keep it evenly split between the two of us being lead singers.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How is the recording and writing process going for the upcoming EP? Can we expect to hear you hone in the same themes featured in the first two releases?
IN EARNEST: We recorded our debut EP last summer, set up in a barn in a corner of Essex, UK. We were aiming for 4 songs, but ended up recording the 6 that we had prepared at the time, and luckily it all came together very quickly and smoothly. Some similar themes follow, but there are also songs about identity, adulthood and belonging.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What has been one of your favorite things about being a songwriter and being in a band?
IN EARNEST: I love seeing and hearing bare bones of songs come to life when the other band members add to them and leave their stamp. We try to ensure that every song and every lyric within holds a really strong meaning, and being in a band of close-knit friends really enables you to be open and honest with each other and to connect when you perform.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Switching gears… What is your earliest musical memory?
IN EARNEST: I used to be obsessed with Disney’s Fantasia – the movie that has no dialogue and a completely Classical soundtrack. At around the age of 5 or 6, I’d sit there engrossed in it for hours and sometimes just leave the music on and do other things while soaking up the sounds. I wore the VHS tape out and my parents had to buy me another!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you could write a song about any fictional character or universe who or what would you choose and why?
IN EARNEST: A few years back I actually started writing a song based on ‘The Odd Life Of Timothy Green’, a kind of fantasy movie about a weird kid who grows out of the ground. I never ended up finishing it, but it’s still sitting amongst the mountain-sized pile of unfinished songs to re-visit. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should! Mighty sad and moving.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Are there any artists that you guys have had “On Repeat” lately? What music have you been playlisting?
IN EARNEST: We have been maintaining a playlist on our band Spotify account called ‘Everywhere & Nowhere’ which is a collection of our favourite songs on mental health. Phoebe Bridgers, Noah Gundersen, and Gia Margaret have been spinning today.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I wanted to do a quick lightning round of questions before we end so here we go so… Museum or movie theater?
IN EARNEST: Museum. I could walk around a place like the National History Museum ALL day long. At my dad’s request, me and my family went to a pretty bizarre mushroom museum in France when I was younger. I wouldn’t go back.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Coffee or Tea?
IN EARNEST: I’m going to be stereotypically British here and say tea!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Morning Bird or Night Owl?
IN EARNEST: Morning bird. Nothing better than getting that to-do list out of the way by the afternoon! I also stay up late reading a lot, which explains why I’m always tired…
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Instagram or Twitter?
IN EARNEST: Instagram. I’ve never really been into Twitter.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Podcast or Playlist?
IN EARNEST: Playlist every time. I have a million private playlists on Spotify, just because I’m addicted to making them and seeing what weird and wonderful connecting themes I can come up with! I’ve always been obsessed with making lists in general.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Summer or Winter?
IN EARNEST: Winter. I’m constantly warm and therefore at constant risk of overheating most of the year round! I love the fall/autumn the most.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And what’s next up for you as a band?
IN EARNEST: We have one last single to release before the EP comes out towards the end of 2020. It’s been a strange time not being able to play shows due to the current pandemic, so it’ll be rad to be able to start our life as a touring band. We’ll also be setting up in a random barn again to record our follow-up EP for 2021.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time, In Earnest! 🙂
IN EARNEST: You can find out more about us on www.inearnest.co.uk. Follow us on Spotify and check out ‘Come Upstairs’ on July 3rd. Thanks to The Reclusive Blogger for interrogating us!
Anytime, In Earnest, Anytime!
You can stream the bands latest single ‘Put Me Under’ here.