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Big Deal - June Gloom

Debut ‘Lights Out’ was loved for its intimacy; ‘June Gloom’ will be loved for how big it sounds.

British summertime, eh? When the sun first peeks out from behind the clouds, you pull out last year’s shorts from your wardrobe, invest in enough sun cream to last a year, and by the time you’ve organised a BBQ with all your mates… it’s gone. Every year.

Big Deal have clearly picked up on this tradition, calling their new album ‘June Gloom’. And the first few guitar strings of opener ‘golden light’ would certainly have you feeling a little gloomy. But then the vocals come in, and we see, lyrically, that it’s not very gloomy at all. The duo want to “walk in the golden light’, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t.

Debut ‘Lights Out’ was loved for its intimacy; ‘June Gloom’ will be loved for how big it sounds. Fleshed out with a full band, tracks like newest single ‘In Your Car’ sound dramatic, full-bodied, but still in possession of the emotional intricacies that made us enjoy Big Deal in the first place. “I’ve got a friend who never lets me down,’ sings Costelloe, but there are also lines about scratching itches and what she’s thinking about when she’s awake. Is it friendship or something more?

Costelloe is at the forefront of the vocals for much of ‘June Gloom’, but Kacey Underwood is still audible under all the noise; in ‘Dream Machines’, with its pounding percussion, it’s all cleverly layered and nothing is forgotten. It makes you wonder why they didn’t expand beyond a duo before.

Underwood takes over on the delicate ‘Pristine’, with sweet “oohs” from Costelloe backing up his lovelorn vocals for a spell, rather that the hard-hitting, at times grunge alt-rock that precedes the song. It’s absolutely stunning, and a prefect oasis of respite in the second half of the album. Of course, it’s then followed by the ominous ‘pillow’, with Underwood’s soft voice a stark contrast to the menacing drums. It changes tack half way through, building up into a charged instrumental moment, before the duo warn: “If you play with me / you’re playing with fire.’

‘June Gloom’ ends on the wonderful ‘Close Your Eyes’, which features the heartbreaking lines: “I won’t ask why / If it was love / We let it die.’ But it wouldn’t be right to end on such a sad note. A slow burner, it suddenly erupts into a wonderful guitar riff, proving – as if we weren’t convinced already – that Big Deal really are a big deal.

Tags: Big Deal, Reviews, Album Reviews

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