"I Let You Down" by Billie Van is a beautifully sad song steeped in self doubt and self blame. It's emotional tug mired in all the relationship muck that we can all relate to. We have all felt these feelings and possibly the resulting desire to enroll in a self improvement seminar. Built on a spartan piano, bass and drum kit production that serves as the perfect framework for BillieVan's embracing vocal performance, this song makes you smile, induces real goosebumps and makes you long for a long hug from a friend, lover or stranger. The tempo is smartly just a tad slow as to feel like it is in a depressive, sad funk. The opening lyric says it all,
Darling forgive my acid thoughts
I'm whirling around in doubts but you don't
I never meant to drag you down
But singing the blues time after time
Leaves my tongue upside down
As sweetly sad as I Let You Down is, the newly released video, directed by Charlotte Rutherford amps up the vibe. It is wonderfully weird. Shot with deep black levels and rich colors the pervasive feeling is sadness to the point of catatonia. It is part David Lynch, Jean Pierre Jeunet and Wes Anderson (on barbiturates). The images fit the tone of the song wonderfully. I love the oddness of it all. I had to watch it 7 times in a row.
For me personally, it was also amazing to see Mikhael Paskalev playing bass. I shot Mikhael's band in LA last year and pulling my attention away from him was Billie who played keyboards and sang backing vocals. I didn't know who she was at the time but she was so amazing and stood out (captivated me) especially in songs like "Sayonara Saigon."
About Billie Van
The talented Billie Van manages to succeed in a variety of genres without ever losing her personal sound. From the raw and cocky rockabilly flavoured “On My Knees” through to radio-hit-sweet-girly-pop-song “How Can It Be So Hard” and the honest, sore and beautiful “I Let You Down”.
Anyone who has experienced Billie and her band live in concert, knows that she is not afraid of showing explicit emotions on stage, and never leave a dull moment for the audience.Billie Van has emerged from a group of freakishly talented musicians, who teamed up at the LIPA academy in Liverpool. Guys like Mikhael Paskalev and Jonas Alaska are both mainstays in Billies band, and both count Billie as a vital member of their own live acts. All three artists have developed a fresh retro sound that has caught on, both within and outside of their native Scandinavia the last few years. Billie herself is originally Norwegian, but lives in Copenhagen.