BIG SCARY – ” Me and You “

Posted: October 6, 2022 in MUSIC

In 2019, Big Scary‘s Tom Iansek and Jo Syme asked themselves one big question. It had been a few years since their last album. Both had busied themselves with new projects and record labels. “It is the music made by me and you,” Lansek reportedly said.

As a band Big Scary has looked and sounded like many different things over the years. “Me and You”, their second album in 18 months, affirms the strength of its core. This dynamic collaboration between two friends, collaborators, and expert songwriters. Melbourne’s Tom Iansek and Joanna Syme have released multiple EPs and five studio albums as Big Scary since forming in 2006. They’ve accrued a number of awards as well as winning the Australian Music Prize in 2014 for their second album, “Not Art”. Tom and Joanna hosted Australian Music Is Bloody Great this week to reflect upon their artistic contemporaries and their work as well as share a slice of their fifth studio album “Me and You”.

Unlike last year’s Daisy, Big Scary’s fifth record feels gentle. The guitars are largely acoustic, a lot of the synths from last year’s album are traded for grand piano, and the melodies are a little less direct and somewhat more ethereal.

It’s in this setting that Iansek and Syme’s songwriting nous is laid bare. With no big guitars or sonic sidesteps to hide behind, the songs must be strong. And they are, without exception.

The comparatively upbeat ‘Goodbye Earle Street’ is lovely, but no more so than the hypnotic ‘Firefly’. Vaguely jazzy ballad ‘Real Love’ might sound sunnier, but is no less emotionally affecting than beautiful, somewhat brusque closer ‘You Won’t Always’.

This is to say, Big Scary’s new album has no real lowlights. Its ten tracks are somewhat varied in their tone, but consistent in their quality. It’s one thing to show the breadth of your musical proclivities, as Big Scary have across their five albums thus far. It’s another thing altogether to illustrate the depth with which they can interrogate them.

If Big Scary is “the music made by me and you”, then “Me and You” is proof that Big Scary have a lot to offer. To music, to us, and to themselves.

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