Bigger, Better Deals Await Them
Big Deal’s vocalist Kacey Underwood is as California as it gets. With her Michelle Phillips’ beauty and her sweet and lazy voice, one can imagine that not a day went by in the recording studio where fresh flowers weren’t nearby. A few years ago, she trekked to London where she teamed up with Alice Costelloe and formed the edgy, indie-shoegaze band Big Deal. They released two LPs, but on their newest four-song offering Sakura they appear to have found their focus.
Sakura eschews the lethargy of their 2011 debut Lights Out and eliminates the experimental aspects of 2013’s June Bloom, leaving only their best songwriting and delivery. This point is driven home immediately, apologetically even, with a redux of “Talk,” originally from their debut album, sped up here into something irresistible and memorable. “Always Boys” threatens to put you to sleep with its slow and sparse intro, but it picks up speed just in time over a backdrop of ’80s new wave and ’90s college rock. Costelloe grabs some vocal duties on the title track, matching Underwood’s casualness but with a slight Morrissey flair.
Closing track “Figure It Out” is reminiscent of Supergrass with its bounciness and, well, its Britishness, and it reassures the listener that there are no snoozers on Sakura. Big Deal would be wise to listen to this creation if they have questions about what to do with their next album. Clearly, their strength lies in fun, upbeat, tight tracks like these four, and as Big Deal tour behind it, they may find themselves dancing more and shoegazing less. And the audience will be dancing along with them. It may be hip and left coast-like to appear apathetic, but Sakura shows it’s more fun and successful to let go once in a while.