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The Big Pink looked spiffy as they gathered up on stage.  The London fivesome sported a melange of fashion that would look best underlit with bright strobes surrounded by a soft aura, a counterpart to what the bevy of photographers had already set up by the foot of the stage. We see a black, curvy jumpsuit on female vocalist Valentine Fillol Cordier, ripped acid washed jeans on singer/guitarist Robbie Furze, a windbreaker on keyboardist Milo Cordell.  It’s air conditioning cold, both inside and out, but who cares about the clothing, let’s get on with the sound.

The Big Pink create an immensely visual, electro/shoegaze etherea with the skill of the Legendary Pink Dots and Aphex Twin behind the darkness. For another variation, you can try on My Bloody Valentine in the place of the Dots, but I think I’d keep Aphex.  Though some might think Portishead (with all The Big Pink’s dark undertones and cinematic brooding), that might be too convenient, given their lyrics.

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By now, you should already have the band’s “Velvet” single open in a new window (I hope it’s not Internet Explorer, but whatever sinks your boat). This track builds up on its bass attack, stressing the clever interplay between bass, synths and drums. This “underlayer” is smart enough on its own, but it accentuates the melody and the vocals, creating a rich interaction. “Velvet” is something to listen to over and over again.  Its melody is made up of sounds that don’t simply repeat, but continually reveal new syncopations to explore. This song aside, a lot of what I heard tonight would be closer to Auburn Lull, if they could afford a resolution or a break down.

The band’s rhythmic changes happen rapidly and with good intention.  Again, one could swim along with the bass coupled with the ethereal (our new word for soprano) vocals or one could start to lunge forward with the active rhythm and lyrics. It’s difficult to decipher a single phrase out of the lyrics, am I to “…travel by the silver covered road”, or “a sequined covered road”?  I’m yet to find out.

My prediction is that this UK act will soon be playing larger venues here after all the European festival dates they’ve got planned this summer.

At the moment, The Big Pink, already signed to 4AD, are recording their album in New York City, so give them a listen. (Though their discography only includes 3 singles as yet, I’m sure now you can find their myspace) and stay tuned here for updates on local shows (I know, right now the calendar says Osaka for as far as you can see, but there are always surprises).–Tim Nestor

 
  1. [...] Big Pink’s first unofficial show in NYC, a VIP night at Mercury Lounge last June, was almost their last on American soil.  Though main [...]