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“Hype band” – a term either used to praise or dismiss an artist’s “true” value. It’s a term that too often gets thrown around with a negative connotation attached, in order to discredit a group’s success by implying the sole reason behind an artist’s popularity is accredited to the group themselves becoming somewhat of a trend.
I bring this up because one of my first introductions to Sydney’s Big White was through others referring to the group as an ‘In Band’ or ‘All Hype’. It’s often an unfortunate scenario, because I genuinely don’t believe hard working acts such as Big White deserve that limiting label. Just because a group has reached a level of popularity playing a musical style that is not to your flavor, does not mean the artists themselves deserve to be discredited for their effort.
After a year of tantalising fans, one of Sydney’s brightest stars Big White have released their debut Teenage Dreams, an LP that proves they’re more than a hype band.
Hailing from Sydney, the five-piece Indie/ New-Wave collective have just dropped a bombshell. Their debut album Teenage Dreams has been released to the world; undoubtedly creeping their way into the unconscious minds of teens around the globe with eloquent textures and unruffled ambient seas. Teenage Dreams holds convincing resemblances to the likes of The Cure, Bauhaus, The Smiths and Aussie acts such as Dick Diver. Nevertheless Big White stand on their own among their influences, embracing an organic sound which has gradually taken them to impressive heights such as two trips to SXSW, an international signing deal, plus various tours of Australia and the USA. Not to mention rocking the launch party for issue one of Happy Mag.
The twelve-track release kicks off with the jovial Bell Towers. Starring the classic Big White jangle pop aesthetic, Bell Towers is an all-round impressive number proudly boasting a true blue accent and a seamless propensity for catchy melodic flow. Following Bell Towers we are pleasantly greeted with You Know I Love You. Last year we witnessed Big White amuse and amaze fans with the release of an entirely Japanese version of this track, coupled with a priceless low budget music video. Personally this track especially holds a strong resemblance of The Smiths, with an assertive vocal performance, driving percussion and minimalist guitar parts, each respectively crafting an earnest atmosphere.
Dinosaur City was one of the initial singles from this LP to hit the airwaves in late 2015. Here we’re presented with more of the same melodramatic theatrical vibes seen throughout, however dare I say that Dinosaur City has one of the most memorable chorus’ here. Moreover the underlying guitars strike these addicting groovy jagged rhythms, only clarifying the importance of the replay button.
Combating the persisting groove and expansive textures throughout Teenage Dreams, the closing track You Don’t Get Much is a tender acoustic ballad riddled with relatable mundanities: “You get a coffee at com bank”, “You get a local craft beer”, “You get half of your tax back”. It’s a rather blue yet sincere way to close out this experience; I’d love to hear some more Big White tracks akin to You Don’t Get Much in forthcoming releases.
Overall Teenage Dreams will likely see Big White greeted with masses of well deserved of praise for their efforts. There is no doubt that the band will go far; their debut release is a clear indicator of the group’s potential. If you are a fan of New-Wave/Post-Pop classics such as Talking Heads, The Cure, Bauhaus, The Smiths, Joy Division, or even modern players such as Dick Diver, Cold Cave and Blank Realm; without hesitation you ought to take a moment from your day to delve into Big White’s Teenage Dreams…and hey if you don’t like what you hear, no harm done right?
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