‘Just Like Blood’ is like a a b-side from last years album ‘Are We There’. In fact, so far that’s what the latest EP ‘I Don’t Want To Let You Down’ sounds like. ‘Just Like Blood’ is another piano-led track that has some vaguely waily organs in the background as well as double-tracked vocals. However, I’ve never had a problem with Van Etten’s vocals. They’re as velvety and hushed as ever, likening her opponent to running ‘just like blood’. The piano is a reminiscent of a Verve song I can’t put my finger on, though I doubt Richard Ashcroft was the first thing to jump to Van Etten’s mind when penning the song. ‘Just Like Blood’ is by no means a bad song, but compared to the album she put out last year, it feels bland and grey. Whereas on ‘Are We There’ there was plenty of sidesteps such as ‘Our Love’, with its hip-hop drums and the slow burning growers ‘Tarifa’ and ‘Your Love Is Killing Me’, but ‘Just Like Blood’ just splutters out at the end and dies a very apathetic death.
The production isn’t nearly as good as last year’s full length, either. The sound isn’t as full and bright, instead using this dingy production that was not apparent on first taster ‘I Don’t Want To Let You Down’. Sometimes Van Etten does to sombre songs, which is fine, but unlike ‘I Love You But I’m Lost’, ‘Just Like Blood’ has no heart. The upcoming EP should have a wider selection of Van Etten songs, but there is no sign of a short return to the acoustic of ‘Epic’ which would make a refreshing change to the piano balladry Van Etten has been deploying on her last two albums.