"Busy Doing Nothing" and "Everybody Lets You Down" by Euan BlackmanReview
New out from Euan Blackman is his single "Busy Doing Nothing", taken from his EP of the same name which also contains the song "Everybody Lets You Down"
The former is yet another new departure for this talented artist. Occupying similar territory to Luke Concannon's "Doing Nothing" of 2021, it may also be one of those by products of the lockdown experience or simply his evocation of unrelated ennui…… what distinguishes it from earlier work is the unusual vocal approach taken which sets the singer in some hazy middle distance, remote from both the grind of daily life & the listener. The hypnotic accompaniment, which features a prominent strummed acoustic guitar to which a variety of other instruments are gradually added until we get a pretty lush arrangement which far from describing a sense of detachment based around alienation, but quite the reverse: it's a song more about love, the dreamlike euphoria surrounding it & the desire to shut everything else out to focus upon it.
The second song also starts in a sparse fashion & grows, though in a noticeably spikier manner to its companion, but like "Busy Doing Nothing", don't assume that the title tells the whole story as "Everybody Lets You Down" leavens the criticism (which tends to the "more in sorrow than anger" variety) of the behaviours of others by reminding us & himself that only those without sin might legitimately cast the first stone and that he himself has been culpable too in the past, allowing him to empathise with those who may have on occasion let him down.
So two really rather mature songs in terms of words & ideas, delivered in the inimitable style he has been developing where the themes build & challenge expectations & where an often apparently casual delivery style belies a more serious intent.