Amber Valley band BIG! have released their debut album Thrilled! and Storge editor Sarah Lay has taken a listen to a record of depth and mixed genre sound.
A lot of debut albums have a lot going on, a melting pot of emerging ideas and a lifetime of experience fed into a relatively small selection of songs. The best debut albums manage to distill the mixture into something that comes together as a collection, something which speaks of a time, and makes a statement about the artist emerging.
And BIG! have quite the statement to make, “We wanna play BIG music for… Thinkers and doers, sleepers and dreamers, Writers and readers, musicians and performers, Ravers and clubkids, introverts and cynics, Tree-huggers and travellers, Corporate slaves and off-grid bohemians, The loud and the silent, the weak and the strong, The loved and the despised, the lost and the free.” So, this debut collection is music for to be everything to everyone…a broad aim indeed.
It’s to their credit that they manage to get a fair way toward that, without losing their identity, without blending so many styles as to lose any sense of cohesion, and while keeping the melodies front and centre. There are moments where we get a sort of chart pop guitar sound, with an upbeat hint of McFly, while elsewhere it’s the raw but still hugely melodic riffs of REM which shine through.
Throughout it’s an album of new age ideals without becoming a spaced-out hippy trip. Depth added across the tracks by a broad spectrum of instrumentation and playing styles, and with We Are The Giant’s Chris Harding helping on production duties (as well as vocals and guitar) there’s an intricacy and detail underpinning the vast idea behind the album that keeps the album floating on rather than sinking under waves of melody.
With a soul and funk groove to many of the songs and a touching innocence to the lyrics, often centred on the healing and unifying force of music, this is a debut album with a big aim and one which melodically is likely to appeal to many across those walks of life they seek to reach.
Thrilled! by BIG! is out now and available via Bandcamp.
You can find BIG!: