2012 SXSW Flashback: Big Deal

Dave DiMartino

With their striking pairing of loud/soft and boy/girl--two contrasts that have often worked exceptionally well in pop music--new duo Big Deal have managed to create one of the more memorable and evocative debut albums in recent memory.

Though the duo--Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe--have respective roots in California and Britain, their appealing sonic blend has origins that seem less geographic than strikingly personal. Lights Out, their recent Mute Records debut, has a charm that anyone anywhere--at least anyone who's had a memorable personal relationship with another--will likely relate to.

Formed in the UK, the band have made their mark singing about the volatility of passion--or the lack of it--all the while blending soft acoustic guitars with loud, heavily distorted ones off in the distance. It's an appealing sound, offering up both innocence and cynicism at once--and, for a comparatively new band, they sound remarkably older than their years.

Y! Music spoke with the band at this year's South By Southwest music conference in Austin last month and happily witnessed an intimate performance that--while perhaps lacking the stunning textures that make Lights Out so immediately memorable--was one of the high points of our Texas visit. Check out what they have to offer and prepare to be impressed.