Music

Big Scary – ‘Daisy’: Album Review

After four albums together and 15 years in the business, Big Scary are back with Daisy, their most playful project yet.

It has been five years since Big Scary’s last album Animal which featured their biggest track to date, The Opposite of Us. The song came in at number 17 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2016, and shortly after that, the band went quiet as other projects took the fore. Five years later and Big Scary are back with their newest album, Daisy.

Tom Iansek and Jo Syme were understandably overwhelmed with pressure to follow up Animal, the album becoming their most recognisable and well-received to date. Talking to NME, Iansek explained that, “it was hard at the time because we were stepping away from whatever momentum we had, but that momentum comes with a lot of things that make us uncomfortable too.”

Photo: Jeff Andersen Jnr
Photo: Jeff Andersen Jnr.

Although Big Scary’s four-year hiatus seemed like it lasted an eternity, the duo didn’t just spend their time fiddling their thumbs. Iansek and Syme spent the years dabbling in various other projects with their label, Pieater, including Iansek’s solo venture #1 Dads.

Big Scary have ventured into unchartered territory on their new record, however, the underlying, foundational elements of the duo remain. Their most recent single, Bursting At The Seams is a disco tune featuring lead vocals from Syme – a first for the drummer, who claims she channeled “Channel Tres, Donna Summer, and The Flaming Lips — to try and mix some sexiness and ecstasy.”

In Kind Of World, we are introduced to Syme’s rap debut and plenty of cowbell. The track is fun and playful, carrying a melodic, nursery rhyme-like rhythm. The song, not unlike the rest of the album, is not intended to be taken too seriously, with synths that create a childlike excitement.

With the album being produced in 2020, a year of uncertainty, sadness, and confinement, Daisy is quite the opposite of what you would expect. It’s an album you’d want to put on to hype yourself up for a post-COVID-19 night out. Full of fantasy, funk, and fabulous disco grooves, Daisy, like the flower itself, is beautifully complex, with a depth that sparks curiosity on repeat listens. 

Unlike past records, Daisy has seen a more balanced input from both band members, including lead vocals, as well as both Iansek and Syme working together on Pro Tools. Daisy is also Big Scary’s first album with no guitars. Instead bright synths, hand percussion, and melodramatic strings can be heard across the record. 

“It’s been a beautiful thing to be a part of,” Iansek told Sydney Morning Herald“The band has been liberated to an extent from my pressure of needing it to be this or be that. Suddenly it’s much more relaxed and spontaneous, which is what music should be.”

What makes Big Scary one of Australia’s most admirable bands is the uniqueness of every record released. No album is the same, nor do they comply with so-called industry standards – what may be trendy or popular on the radio at the moment. The duo is unashamedly true to themselves as artists and their relationship with each other.

Remaining humble despite their success is a quality and rarity that should be cherished in the music industry.

 

Daisy is out now on Pieater. Stream or purchase your copy here.