31 October 2011

culture

listen: lights out

Story by Andrew Reinholds

Big Deals’ debut album is too honest, unpretentious and uncomplicated to dislike.


On the face of it, it looks like a recipe for disaster – definitely more than averagely good looking girl and guy get together to make wistful indie-pop album. Surely not another over-hyped boy-girl duo destined for the bargain bins at Real Groovy currently inhabited by Ting Tings albums.

Big Deal is 18 year old Brit Alice Costelloe and 29 year-old American Kacey Underwood and together they have defied the odds to come up with a debut album that is simply too honest, uncomplicated and unpretentious to dislike.

Instrumentation is limited to an acoustic guitar accompanied by fuzzy electric guitar over which Underwood and Costelloe tell their stories of love, longing and lust. The result is an album that almost sounds as if the two recorded it in their bedroom, and it’s this wonderful intimacy which is ultimately the real essence of what the two have been able to create.

As lead vocalist, it is Costelloe that drives the album with a uniquely female yearning, but never at all does she come across as either angsty or cloying despite lines like “take me to your bed, don’t take me home” (‘Cool Like Kurt’), and “come and find me dizzy with the spell of our chemistry, you are the diamond that fits into my heart so easily” (‘Swoon’).

Structurally sparse yet emotionally rich, ‘Lights Out’ is a wonderful album for the promise and hope of spring. It is so much more than a teenager’s naive and innocent take on romance.  It is really a wonderful study on the tentative first steps that all new relationships must take, and all the conflicting emotions that come with that. Where Big Deal go to from here isn’t clear, but for now they have delivered one of the most pleasantly surprising debuts of the year.


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