Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
TLOBF Introducing // Big Deal

TLOBF Introducing // Big Deal

28 October 2010, 11:00
Words by Matthew Britton


Fighting your instincts is one of the hardest things to do. But after years of seeing girl/boy act take to the stage and trot out twee platitudes that don’t really go anywhere, it’s difficult not to judge an act when they fit into such an easy stereotype. But then, even for those stuck in the view that any gender opposite duo is just going to be a rubbish Slow Club, it’d only take on viewing of London’s Big Deal to persuade them otherwise.

Sultry and suppressed, they make drum-free songs that focus on the tensions of growing up, the loss of innocence and the tensions that bubble underneath. It’s oddly affecting, their stark minimal sound immediately striking a chord, something the twosome manage to translate when playing live, too. Subtle yearning isn’t always easy to convey when you’re playing in a small, cold room, either.

Kacey and Alice are the two behind the project, and despite only starting crafting songs earlier in the year, they’ve already started making waves, with their woozy brand of pop already drawing comparisons with demo-era Best Coast and Big Star (something probably not helped by them covering ‘13’) . Whilst waiting to inevitability blow up sometime next year, they answered some questions about the band, what they’ve been up to and their issues with percussion.

Hello Big Deal. How do you describe yourself to people who ask what you are?

K: Two lazy people in a highly driven band.

As a boy/girl duo, how have you found the press around you? People seem to have certain preconceptions about that kind of line-up. It must’ve been tempting to go down the folk route.

K: The folk route has never tempted us. The press has been really kind so far, so I’m anticipating a mean backlash soon. As far as the preconceptions people have, I don’t think we really mind, as long as people are open to the music, and don’t call us folk.

A: The word tempting makes it sound like there’s something exciting and naughty about a man with a beard singing about god and wind and ghosts and stuff…maybe I should go have a listen.

Also: the first thing that people notice when you play live is that you don’t have a drummer. What have you got against percussion?

K: I love percussion, but I also love being able to write a song with Alice, record it and play it live within a week. When you don’t have extra instrumentation you have to really make the songs work, you can’t just ask someone to fill in the gaps. Drummers tend to be pretty crazy as well.

A: Drum kits are really heavy. I’m really bad at carrying heavy stuff.

A lot of your songs are about issues that affect people in secondary school. Why the focus on youth?

K: Is that like Junior High? I think there are a couple songs like that, it’s certainly not something we’ve aimed for and I think when people get the chance to hear more they’ll see where we’re coming from.

A: American people separate school years stupidly. Anyway I think even if I wasn’t a ‘ youth’ myself, being young is still something that most people are nostalgic for and we didn’t really mean to focus on youth so much as focus on nostalgia for things you’ll never have again.

A lot of the comments on your music are on the underlying sexiness of it – that teamed up with the stripped back beauty of the work means that one of the first things that came to mind was The XX. It’s a bit of a lazy question, but who do you look up to? Is there anyone who made you want to start a band?

K: There are definitely people we look up to. I think this year the Arcade Fire made us want to really make something beautiful, as do a lot of artist not making music anymore like Nirvana and MBV and the Smashing Pumpkins and The Velvet Underground.

One thing that’s always bewildered me is the way people approach making music – what’s your method for putting together a song?

K: It’s very easy and very fun. One of us usually starts it off and the other finishes, having bounced ideas around in person or through recordings. We actually tried a Skype session but it was too sci-fi for us.

It’d be fair to say you’ve been getting a fair amount of hype from the right places. Do you feel like a ‘buzz band’? What do you do for a living?

K: Definitely not. Though I think we have been very lucky to play in front of people who make it their business to tell people about the music they like. When I think of buzz bands I think of the ones you see everywhere but never hear, or see live anywhere. I teach music in primary school so if someday one of those kids hears about big deal then I will recognize the buzz.

You’ve only been together for 6 months or so, too. What were you doing beforehand? Any musical past?

K: I am in another band called Little Death. It has a drummer. He is a good guy though and is not the reason we steer clear of that sort of thing now.

A: I’ve been in a band my whole teenage life but our drummer didn’t turn me anti-drummer either… I’m just anti-carrying heavy stuff.

And what’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you in that time?

K: My grandma has become our biggest fan.

A: I have become a grandma.

You played Manchester’s In The City recently, too, which is an ‘industry’ event. What are your thoughts on the state of music at the minute?

A: In The City, was a bit strange, playing to a crowd of people with their heads down writing stuff in notepads. I’m pretty confused by the state of the music industry at the moment, but I’m pretty sure it’s even more confused then I am.

Lastly, there must be a couple of new bands that you’d recommend. Anyone in particular?

K: I saw Spectrals a couple times this year. I enjoyed it a lot. Otherwise I end up liking my friend’s bands a lot, as they tend to be awesome individuals and that can’t help but color how I hear them. Wet Paint, Screaming Tea Party, Round Ron Virgin all comes to mind.

A: Also, they’re not that new, but we saw Warpaint at the start of the summer, and they were pretty mind blowing.

Photograph by Jon Baker.

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