Album review: Big Deal – June Gloom

Big Deal - June Gloom

Big Deal - June Gloom - Credit: Archant

Fleshing out their understated but beautiful debut, this London duo deliver a beguiling follow-up.

Following their intimate, warmly-received debut Lights Out, London-based duo Kacey Underwood and his former pupil Alice Costelloe have upped the ante.

With vocals as comfortable and matching as your favourite pair of woolly gloves, the same chemistry is evident here, fleshed out with a rhythm section and some evocative songwriting.

Rousing climaxes (opener Golden Light sets out the stall) and full-throated guitar fuzz (with snappy percussion on the driving Teradactol) hint at their mutual love of Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, without flattening the pretty melancholia that pricked ears up in 2011.

Drawn-out guitar notes brilliantly amplify the quiet angst of Pillow, while Pristine finds a dry-throated Underwood singing ‘Love what you have/Not what you need’ beneath floaty, echo-laden acoustic guitar strums and Costelloe’s heavenly ‘oohs’.

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She recalls Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis on In Your Car, a pretty, simple song that marks Big Deal out from the crowd. Well worth plugging in to.

4 stars

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