Los Angeles jazz singer Samantha Sidley titled the first single from her upcoming record “I Like Girls,” but on the song we’re premiering today, she covers some Boys. And she digs deep for this Beach Boys tribute, eschewing the oft-covered classics for a true deep cut: “Busy Doin’ Nothing,” from 1968’s Friends, a relatively obscure album without any big hits but with a few passionate defenders. One is Sidley herself.
“This song is from one of my favorite Beach Boys records, Friends,” Sidley says. “I was on a leisurely walk in my neighborhood listening to it and realized that the song is a story I pretty much live every day. I knew it especially when Brian Wilson says, ‘I get a lot of thoughts in the morning, I write them all down, if it wasn’t for that, I’d forget them in a while.’ I’m a true ADD kid! It made me so happy to know that you can sing about the mundane and still fill it with imagery and intent. There’s always subtext, there’s always a story underneath.”
With many Beach Boys songs, it seems impossible to record a version that betters Brian Wilson’s immaculate original productions. With his shaggy psych-bossa-nova approach on “Busy Doin’ Nothing,” though, it seems more doable. I’d argue Sidley’s jazzy version surpasses the original. Take a listen below.
Samantha Sidley’s album Interior Person is out Sept. 13th on Release Me Records. Photo credit: Samantha Sidley as photographed by Logan White.