"Bad Things" by Euan BlackmanReview
Out today is the latest single from Euan Blackman's debut EP: namely "Bad Things" (and it comes coupled with the previous releases "Busy Doing Nothing", and "Everybody Lets You Down" so you certainly get value for money).
This one is described by its composer as "..the perfect driving, sad acoustic indie folk bop to stare wistfully out of the window to on a rainy day.." which while making the reviewer's job easier I suppose, does deprive me of the opportunity to say as much about it myself as I'd otherwise have…
Fortunately he's left a few descriptive holes there to jump into: not least that the song is a form of self duet & since the voices are for the most part set in the far distance within the mix, the foreground being something of an icy wasteland of sporadic, well spaced instruments tending to echo within the voids afforded them, you get rather a spectral effect which reminds me of the sort of thing Tracey Thorn & others were experimenting with c1980: which is fine by me as I was into that sort of thing. There may even be traces of his love of Debussy to be found.
Very atmospheric & affecting, I'd certainly not have gone with "bop" myself in trying to describe it, but we all have our own responses to art don't we & we are all entitled to them. I have no problem with "wistful" though nor the evocation of a rainy day. However in terms of emotional direction, the "every day I feel like giving up" refrain just reinforces the extreme melancholy of the song and the title sends quite a signal too doesn't it?). Excellent art, which I actually rather liked, but very much at one end of his artistic spectrum (I hope he hasn't got ambitions to go any further in this direction) & one which will provoke strong reactions: and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I'd rather have something which makes me sad than prompts on real response at all.