The following was written during an internship with the podcast department at Mushroom Group where I wrote a series of articles about each episode of Some of My Best Work. Due to a website redesign none were published. These were left unedited.
Mansionair are a Sydney band made up of Jack Froggatt, Lachlan Bostock, and Alex Nicholls, who formed in 2014.Jack and Lachlan said their song Easier is some of their best work.
It appeared on their 2019 album Shadowboxer.
The story of Easier, some of Mansionair’s best work.
After their first song Hold Me Down found them a record deal, Mansionair were soon touring with international acts such as Florence + The Machine.
But after years of touring, the band felt burnt out and sat down to discuss their future.
“At that stage in our career, we were all kind of figuring out who we were as artists individually, while simultaneously trying to figure out who we were as a band”, said Jack.
“We were finally opening up to each other and wearing our hearts on our sleeves a little more”
Following a summer tour into 2016, the band were between houses with nowhere to record.
Lachlan has vivid memories of asking his parents if he could take over their living room.
“I remember feeling like “Hey, Mum, Dad, can I use the living room today, can my band come over and write a song?” Feeling like I was 13 again, asking permission to have band rehearsal”, he said.
It was a turning point where everything clicked and a moment which helped define the band.
“It was a really clear, crystallizing moment for us. It came at a point where we were a little bit lost, a little bit confused with what we wanted to do”, said Lachlan.
Feeling lost, inspiration arrived in the form of Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost In Translation.
“The initial idea for the song began by me just resonating to the scene where Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray are lying on the hotel bed. We just attempted to put that into song form”, said Jack.
The band took lines from the movie to use in their lyrics, and then sent Alex their demo to record his drums to.
“He had his drums set up in his garage, and he was just recording some ideas with his iPhone voice memo app. They have all this character, and he came back with that first beat which made the final cut”, said Lachlan.
Alex’s lo-fi drums were combined with strings and synth pads to create an epic cinematic experience in the final version of Easier.
A slow burner upon its release at the end of 2016, Easier reached over 10 million Spotify streams by the time their album Shadowboxer arrived in 2019.
“I don’t think it’s ever really had a big moment. For us, it’s just been this rising tide that’s been over years and years as more people sort of find out either about our band or about that song in particular”, said Lachlan.
Releasing Easier pushed Mansionair to complete their album, which had originally been slated for a 2017 release.
“We had dragged out our process of finishing a record for so long, because we were just so unsure, and as Easier kind of continued to gain that momentum, I think that was the reason we were able to make a record like Shadowboxer”, said Jack.
“I think when you spend a long time working on a project, you can get such tunnel vision. I think we did have a severe amount of tunnel vision, out of our own insecurities, of wanting something but not exactly knowing how to how to manifest it”, added Lachlan.
Shadowboxer came out in 2019 and shot up the ARIA charts to #35 while Mansionair hit the road.
At live shows Mansionair would play audio from Lost In Translation before performing Easier, a nod to its origins.
Easier has continued to resonate with the band, and reflecting on why it is so important to them Jack said:
“Easier echoes such a deep kind of focal point for what our band is, and I think for us, when we write new stuff, in the back of our minds, it’s important to just trust your gut and keep it as focused as possible. Easier kind of boils that process down, and I think that’s why it is classified as some of our best work.”