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New EP: "reasons to stay alive" by in earnest

Motivational Muses Review | by: Anastasia Logan

Released on: October 8, 2021

Life has its moments of trials, tribulations, frustrations and so much more. There are times when the best way to express the endless uncertainty is to look through these moments from a musical perspective.

in earnest took this approach with their latest EP reasons to stay alive. This six-track EP tackles a variety of issues from battling mental health to contemplating the impacts humans have on the

environment as a whole. While the topics they tackle are heavy, songwriters, Sarah Holburn and Tom Eatherton, and instrumentalist Toby Shaer, combine their skills to address these topics in an almost angelic and calming facade.

Right off the bat, in earnest cue, the waterworks with the first two tracks, "the days in between" and "i feel alone even if I'm not." The first track focuses on overcoming internal battles to see another day fuelled by the reminders of loved ones who power us through or the little moments that begin to mean everything in retrospect. Truly a powerful start to this EP. A flawless transition into "i feel alone even if I'm not" is Eatherton's grand entrance and he does not hold back. In no time at all, in earnest has gripped listeners in with two impactful tracks regarding situations many have experienced in life.

Unlike the past two tracks, "comforts of home" brings a sense of happiness, there is just something about violin that truly makes worries melt away. I adore how they decided to add a fully instrumental track in this EP. It's not something I come across often and it's the perfect bridge into the next track, "humans."

One recurring theme we get from in earnest is their softness. Everything from instrumentals to vocals is mellow making for an easy listening experience. "humans" takes this stylistic notion to address the heaviness of human impact on the environment around them. Many times calm anger holds more power than a grateful outburst, which is exactly what this track encapsulates almost effortlessly.

A channel change is introduced with the next track "welcome to hope country." As the title suggests, this track focuses on the hope that comes when someone comes into our lives and becomes a beacon of determination to continue in a whirlwind of uncertainty. Another track where Eatherton takes center stage. As they have done with the entire EO, the transition to the final track "hands are tied" is effortless and almost undetectable.

Finally, we reach "hands are tied" which is a full-circle moment of this EP. After a taste of hope, everything becomes overwhelming once again, which is a true representation of recovery. Even when things begin to look up, the weight can come crashing down when one least expects it restating the cycle of fighting. I found this to be an incredibly impactful track from this EP, making me want to listen one more time to once again immerse myself in the story being told.

As the creatives they are, this trio took this EP a step further by creating a moving short film that encapsulates the experience of creating this musical work of art. Under the direction of Rob Humm of Soundcastle Media, storytelling of in earnest, they created a moving 22-minute film that will leave watchers wanting more. Take a moment to watch the full short film below before the conclusion of this review.

We've covered in earnest before on Motivational Muses and they truly never cease to amaze me. Everything from their storytelling to composition conveys emotion in such a way that always leaves me awe-struck. They didn't disappoint with reasons to live and I can't wait to see what they create in the future.

Listen to reasons to live today on all music streaming platforms and consider grabbing a copy for yourself through your preferred online music store. Make sure to follow in earnest to stay updated on all upcoming projects and shows!


in earnest are an alt/indie trio from the UK.


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