Not Art by Big Scary
Merry Christmas, everybody! Coming in at #7 is Australian band Big Scary, whose album Not Art, their second, actually came out last year but didn’t make it stateside until earlier this year. This album is hard for me to define; each song sounds derivative of another band.
The above video, for the song “Luck Now,” reminds me of Jeff Buckley, the way Iansek uses his falsetto to great effect. The song “Twin Rivers” (as seen here) has a dissonant-chord chorus and pervasive piano that reminds me of Grizzly Bear. And “Invest,” which can be seen here, has a drum break that makes me think of U.N.K.L.E. (back when DJ Shadow was with the band).
In addition to the above, you can hear Radiohead, Velvet Underground, and many many other references throughout the album, which, on the surface might appear to be a damning quality for the album to evoke. But it’s not, at all. This album is an absolute joy to listen to. It’s solid, through and through.
The band is a duo, Tom Iansek and Joanna Syme, and they started performing as Big Scary back in 2006. In addition to their two albums, they’ve released a number of EPs. Not Art is the first album of theirs to hit my radar, and I’m so glad it did. I found myself continually drawn back to it over the length of the year. You should give it a listen, too. It will stick with you.
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