Melbourne duo Big Scary are back from their Vacation; this morning the independent pair of Tom Iansek and Jo Syme announced the very first details of the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2011 debut album, which featured the singles ‘Gladiator’, ‘Mix Tape’, and ‘Leaving Home’.
Vacation earned the band a Triple J Award ‘Album of the Year’ award nomination (as well as being amongst Richard Kingsmill’s personal Top 10 of that year) as well as allowing the outfit to make in-roads overseas at Texas’ SXSW, their first headline show in New York, and representing Australia at Mumbai’s Music Connects conference in India.
Since then, the pair have been steadily working at their new studio-come-headquarters Mixed Business on a brand new studio album. Dropping a teaser video this morning, Big Scary reveal that Not Art is the title of the alt-indie twosome’s second album and will be released later in the year on the band’s own independent label Pieater (pronounced ‘pie eater’).
The band details that the new album was “almost entirely produced and engineered” by the band’s own Tom Iansek, and from “the first tracking to the final master it was about nine months in the making, finding time between travel, work and touring.”
The album trailer intersperses video of the pair playing a brand new tune with found footage of life abroad (and of a new game the pair developed called ‘hook-ring’).“…The main spark was discovering elements of hip-hop production and applying it to what is essentially pop music.”
The new song soundtracking the teaser contains Iansek’s distinctive piano and vocal talents, starting with bright yet delicate chords, before Syme’s versatile rhythms enter the piece, along with some classy studio polish of groaning synths and a soft bed of acoustic guitar as Iansek intones “I don’t wanna/ have to/ wake up/ get up/ get changed / game face” like a cyclic mantra, before the chorus busts in: “This is my idea of fun.”
Speaking about the sonic direction of the new album, the band write: “There are a bunch of influences which led us into the sound for Not Art, but the main spark was discovering elements of hip-hop production and applying it to what is essentially pop music.” To that end, the Melbourne duo also enlisted the services of Grammy Award-winning mixer Tom Elmhirst, who has worked with the likes of The Black Keys, Amy Winehouse, and Adele, who worked on Not Art at New York’s famous Electric Lady Studios.
There’s no further details or tour plans available from Big Scary’s new look website, but if the teaser is anything to go by, fans can look forward to an LP of smart ‘less-is-more’ arrangements and understated pop gems all delivered with the recognisable chemistry of Big Scary’s twin creators.
Not Art is the latest in an already exciting list of 2013 releases from Australian acts that includes the latest from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and a forthcoming album from The Drones, and the first taste of the swathe of new material from Pond.
All which makes it looking to be a very healthy year for album releases, including Fall Out Boy‘s latest, The Strokes’ fifth LP, Daft Punk’s long-awaited fourth studio album, their first after switching labels to Columbia Records, David Bowie’s first new album in a decade, and let’s not forget new records due soon from Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and The Knife’s 98 minute opus, Shaking The Habitual.