Big|Brave – A Gaze Among Them | Album review
Review by: Graeme J Baty
There is something special about Big|Brave that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ve indulged in their new album A Gaze Among Them for a few weeks now, regularly dipping back into it. It holds my attention far more than other records in this genre. Slow doom-laden songs, whilst sounding utterly awesome on first play they tend to lose my attention with the long meandering slow-paced songs that have little traction. This is definitely not the case with Big|Brave.
Opening with the strong Muted Shifting of Space, an epic piece of work at 8 minutes and 41 seconds. The diversity of the seemingly simple sound captivates and engages.
The vocal style is something quite refreshing and maybe a little bit jarring at first listen. I think the typical incomprehensible guttural wails of this genre of music is perhaps a little over saturated these days. This is where Robin Wattie separates Big|Brave from the pack and excels. Her voice sitting perfectly juxtaposed to the music with elements of Bjork in there, traditional Celtic folk and I was also reminded of the female-fronted Brutus who are also making interesting fresh use of well-tread sounds. The combination of music and vocal style creates a unique soundscape.
Holding Pattern demonstrates Big | Brave’s masterful ability to craft songs with dramatic dynamics. Building from a slow start and gripping you tight by the throat until it finally dissipates. Proving a strong highlight of the album.
The midsection of the record finds the pace slowing with Body Individual leading into the first sub-five-minute song This Deafening Verity. This builds tension and anticipation which Sibling brings with its deep whale song guitar tones and throbbing bass.
While quite a short record at only five songs in 39 minutes. It’s fully evolved, well paced and each play brings the depth of the songwriting to light. It’s a gem of a slow burner. The more I listen to the record the more I adore it. Out on Southern Lord Records on 10th May 2019.
I think this music will be utterly devastating in a live setting and you’d be wise to check them out on the upcoming UK/Europe tour which includes a stop in Newcastle!
BIG|BRAVE Live dates:
16/05 DE Nurnberg Musikverein
17/05 DE Berlin Urban Spree
18/05 PL Poznan LAS
19/05 CZ Prague TBA
21/05 NL Haarlem Patronaat
22/05 BE Antwerp Kavka
23/05 FR Lille La Bulle Café
24/05 UK Bristol Rough Trade
25/05 UK London Raw Power
27/05 UK Newcastle The Cluny
29/05 FR Paris Instants Chavirés
30/05 FR Brussels Magasin 4
01/06 CH Winterthur Gaswerk
03/06 DE Wurzburg Cairo
04/06 DE Hamburg Schute