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42: Highly anticipated EP by alt-folk artist EUAN BLACKMAN has arrived in true form...

If you've been a follower of Local & Live Media for a while now, you'll know of EUAN BLACKMAN, an alt-folk artist known for mesmerising melodies and delicate lyrics. Just last week, the artist released his much anticipated second EP 'Rent Free on My Brain', and we are here to go track-by-track into the depths of this brilliantly crafted body of work...

 

Track One: The Ballad of a Broken Machine

 'a masterpiece in disguise'

After it's initial single release in September 2023, 'The Ballad of a Broken Machine' encapsulates the best of Euan Blackman, complete with endless layers of warm guitar tones, intimate vocals and bedroom pop tendencies - perfect as an EP opener. With a lazy-sunday chord progression and dreamy melodies, you're taken to the wistful world where Euan's music sits: tucked away in the shadows of evergreen trees and a sea-salt breeze. Written around the journey of a robot wrestling with the weight of emotions, the track hits the sweet spot between modern-day indie and traditional acoustic to portray the mental battles of drifting away from plans and people in order to allow fresh perspectives in. A masterpiece in disguise, this opening track is both humble and assured - a true reflection of the artist himself. For rainy day gazes out the window, find solace in 'The Ballad of a Broken Machine'...



Track Two: Burn

'this track holds a feel-good quality to it that would fit perfectly in a grainy-pictured indie film'

With all the ingredients of a pop song disguised into a delicate folk-pop track, 'Burn' leaves a heartwarming print on the rest of your day after first listen. Despite reflecting on the act of moving on and creating space from a past relationship, this track holds a feel-good quality to it that would fit perfectly in a grainy-pictured indie film; the lo-fi production adding to the innocence and DIY approach to the song itself. Whilst the previous track zooms in on the rainy day perspective in the shadows, 'Burn' is the feeling of the sun creeping out of the clouds, thawing the winter's frost with soaring choruses and a pulsing groove. The first single after Blackman's debut EP, 'Burn' was the first insight to this sophomore body of work 'Rent Free on My Brain', and is a refreshing burst of playful synths and nostalgic lyrics.



Track Three: Number One Hit Song

'a timeless tale of the modest songwriter'

Harmonically dense and intricately placed, 'Number One Hit Song' opens up a narrative of longing and lost hope - taking us on a journey of both existentialism and minimalism in a bite-sized 2 and a half minute bubble of murmured dreams and life's simplicities. Arguably the tear-jerker of the four track EP, this track condenses decades of musical influence into a timeless tale of the modest songwriter, chugging acoustic guitars and hazy chorus effects the backbone of the soundscape at hand. Wrapped safely in a bed of backing vocal harmony and comforting lyrics, Blackman shifts the world's focus away from the atrocities of growing up to the simple yet harrowing act of writing a song. Mesmerising from the stillness of the introduction to the build of the instrumental, 'Number One Hit Song' is the pinnacle of the EP's emotional narrative.



Track Four: The Last One

'beautifully simple yet admiringly attentive'

Reflective and dewy-eyed, 'The Last One' is the perfect final track for the EP, balancing end-game lyrics with the bed of folk-pop sounds that we've grown accustomed to by the end of the collection of tracks to provide an open-ended answer to a life of emotional struggle and unexpected happenings. Shifting the focus one last time to that person you'd do anything for, this track holds the message that most struggle to put into words when experiencing, a credit to Blackman's meticulous writing style. Beautifully simple yet admiringly attentive, 'The Last One' leaves us excited to hear more from the artist, his ability to turn often mundane or ordinary storylines into audible flits of wonder and sorcery.


 

You can find the EP in full below, and we highly recommend taking time out of your day to listen to it back-to-back in it's full glory today - you will not be disappointed. Be sure to follow @euanblackman on socials for more.



Review No. 42

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

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