Big Deal - Lights out

by James Bray Rating:8 Release Date:2011-09-05

"We don't know how to put this but we're like a Big Deal." This statement on the band's MySpace page demonstrates Big Deal's sultry, slacker charm (even if they're not aware that they're paraphrasing Ron Burgundy). The group is made up of Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe, both sing and play the guitar and that's pretty much all you'll hear on the record; no drums, no bass and pretty much no other musical embellishments.

The album initally sounds sparse and overly hushed but it grows on you, the simple production adding to the intimate nature of the songs. The band work off interesting dynamics of boy/girl vocals, acoustic electric sounds, UK/US influences and simple, deliberate melodies. Using this as a foundation, Big Deal has composed an album of pretty, little, wistful indie-pop songs: check out 'Distant Neighborhood' and 'Homework.'

Underwood is American while Costelloe is British, and the two play off and exoticise each other's countries, making three minutes myths on schools, pools, dances and endless summers. The one thing this group captures best is sensuality and the kind of longing that's only really known to kids off on long summer breaks. Costelloe and Underwood look great too, and have understated chemistry which only adds to their appeal.

There has been a spate of successful groups recently that have similar dynamics, such as Summer Camp, The xx, Wavves and Best Coast. This is perhaps because these groups have a style and sound that acts as a tonic to the gaudy and excessive sound palette used by many of their contempories. With their restraint and sweet and sultry melodies, Big Deal are like Sea Pony, but with worse weather, or Wavves on a bad camping holiday. They give an interesting British slant to California longing. This kind of music is perfect for the end of summer/early autumn; if it lasts through the winter then Big Deal may well live up to their name.

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