Interview – In Earnest

Using the intensity of depression and loneliness to create a beautifully hypnotic song, In Earnest release their new single Put Me Under into the world today. We chatted to Sarah to find out more about what makes the band tick and their plans for new music and ice cream…

Introduce us to In Earnest – who’s involved and how did you get together as a band?

In Earnest consists of guitarist/vocalist Thomas, violinist/guitarist Toby and myself, Sarah, on keys/vocals, based in sunny Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Thomas and I are the songwriters, bringing our individual songs into the rehearsal room to work on as a group. We were all in a band beforehand, but our new outfit focuses on writing about mental health and encouraging conversations around the topic.

Your debut single Put Me Under is released today. It’s a very personal track addressing coping with depression – how hard is it to express this openly?

Having suffered with mental illness for 10 years now, I’ve got used to speaking openly about it over the years. I started a blog about 5 years ago on the subject and have written a lot of songs about mental health, but it is still a little daunting. My brain constantly steers towards negative thoughts all the time, so I naturally think no-one will like what I create!

Do you have a message for anyone struggling with their mental health under isolation?

I think, lockdown or not, it’s so important to look after your mental health, so now is a great time to sit back and evaluate. There are a lot of self-care guides out there, but what has helped me the most is doing a little bit of yoga each day and eating well. It has pretty much taken me 10 years of struggling and a month of isolation to make me realise this!

And how are you all doing – are you finding ways to still make music either together or separately?

Thomas and I live together, so luckily we get to play a lot of music with each other at home. We are currently working on a collaboration with Toby, remotely of course!

Put Me Under is the first track from your upcoming EP – can you tell us more about what to expect?

Our next single will be a song called Come Upstairs, which follows on nicely from Put Me Under. It is from Tom’s perspective and is the story of how he copes with me and my mental illness. The entire 6-track EP is due in the latter stages of 2020 – you can expect to hear deep lyrics, keys solos and most definitely our producer (Peter Waterman) singing backing vocals.

What were your musical influences growing up and which other artists have you been listening to lately?

I mostly grew up listening to The Beatles and McFly, so pop music was where I began. My Dad has been a drummer on the local music scene since before I was born, so I really looked up to him as I found my feet in the music world (between being dragged to soundchecks and being deafened by tuning drums!) Lately I admire the sombre tones of Phoebe Bridgers, Dodie and Elliot Smith.

Are you planning live dates when things start to open up again?

Absolutely! A few of our gigs have been rescheduled to later in the year, but we are so excited to get back into rehearsals and just being a band again.

And when lockdown is over, what are you most looking forward to?

Above all else, going down to Southend seafront and getting ice creams…

You can find more from In Earnest here and listen to Put Me Under below. If you’re staying in tonight and, let’s face it we all are, join the band for their single launch party on Instagram and Facebook at 8pm 

Interview by Siobhan
Promo photos by Soundcastle Media, single artwork by Thomas Eatherton

17th April 2020