Big Deal – Lights Out (Mute Records)
September 6, 2011 by TP James
Big Deal are the bright new things in town and becoming a more and more frequent blip on the radars of the indie hipster brigade. That’s not to say they are bad, it’s just a rite of passage that like it or not, all have to endure. In terms of sound, they are like a British Moldy Peaches or an edgier, less pop-concerned Slow Club. Much edgier in fact, and more in touch with their thoughts and feelings, rather than what they were doing on a day-to-day basis.
The songs are almost an amble, and sometimes you forget they even had choruses, but they all flit somewhere in between the repetitiveness and the delightful, and more towards the latter than the former on most occasions. There are moments like ‘Swoon’ that takes it down a little and does what it says on the tin. Or at least that’s what it makes you do.
Though the instant feeling that there’s a conscious effort to produce very basic, lo-fi track after track soon disappears upon hearing songs like ‘With the World at my Feet’ and ‘Visions’. They are simple songs but not as basic as debut single ‘Talk’, a slow-burner of sorts that came with empty, fascinating promises a few months go. It is perhaps a lovely surprise to hear the glorious entrance that is ‘Distant Neighborhood’, uplifting and upbeat for a duo without a rhythm section.
The songs are fuller in sound and lyrically denser than a lot were expecting. Still ‘lo-fi’ in essence, and though unfair in some cases, it does seem to be exactly what they are going for.
The arrangements are totally simple, almost non-existent and some times, listening can be like you’ve stumbled across some old unplugged Jesus and Mary Chain demos that never made it to the light of day. Its almost like shoegaze for those with ADHD, the electric guitars swoop and glide brilliantly in the opening moments of tracks like ‘Cool Like Kurt’ and especially ‘Locked Up’.
And so, with not a drum in sight and barely three bass lines between them, what can we expect to see from Big Deal in the future? The answer is, hopefully, lots. Just don’t get your hopes up too much, as though good this album is, you have to look very hard to find any hint of staying power in its 12 bare-minimum tracks. It’s for fans of Beach House and Sky Larkin, and if that’s your bag, this could be the chill out record you’ve been looking for, or (though loathed to utter this phrase) Big Deal could maybe even be your new favourite band. I shudder to think, though I do speak the truth.