by Kieran Cannon
Following their highly successful Carousel project, Essex indie trio Sarah, Thomas and Toby have started afresh as In Earnest. Released on April 17th, debut single Put Me Under offers a stark and uncompromising insight into the singer’s own struggles with mental health – with a rather sweet ode to (wo)man’s best friend along the way. Listen to it on Spotify below.
True to name, In Earnest have laid all their cards on the table from the get-go with this deeply personal elegy on the inner workings of lyricist Sarah’s mind. Along with her stunning vocals – powerful and tender in equal measure – she has a knack for phrasing her thoughts in a vulnerable, relatable way, much like indie folk contemporaries Laura Marling and Phoebe Bridgers. As she explores her battle with depression, she describes it as a “muddle with the grey in a world of black and white”, neatly summing up the crippling ennui and the feeling of not quite belonging; being stuck in no man’s land.
There are, however, glimmers of hope. She finds solace in her canine companion, singing “I’ll never be lonely with a dog beside”. As the track heads toward its conclusion, the tone gradually transforms from overwhelmed to defiant. Throughout it all, the instrumental arrangements create the perfect soundtrack – shimmering electric guitar parts seemingly respond to and emphasise each vocal line, whilst delicate acoustic fingerpicking provides the foundation on which everything else is built.
In Earnest have demonstrated formidable songwriting talents on their debut outing, drawing on previous years of experience to serve up a gorgeously-realised account of an exceptionally intimate subject matter. Their intention is to foster discussion about mental health and to that end they’ve succeeded. It’s difficult not to be moved by such raw storytelling, so surely anyone who listens to this track will be compelled to gush about it to their friends, their family – or perhaps even their dog.
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