After a break of over four years between albums, Big Scary’s fourth album, Daisy, is the band’s most playful to date. The tracks are full of drama – a little bit spooky and a little bit silly. It’s ok to LOL when you listen (and do a little boogie), but equally there is a thoughtfulness to be discovered within the themes and arrangements. The pair of Jo Syme and Tom Iansek reflect broadly on superficiality, naivety and fantasy, compared with the complexities of reality, and the ongoing exercise in thoughtful living. Dynamic relationships are explored, between lovers old and new; and with the voice in your head.

Since releasing their last album Animal in 2016 the pair have dived into broader creative projects. Tom has released three albums across solo project #1 Dads and duo No Mono, and produced or engineered releases for Maple Glider, Tom Snowdon, The Paper Kites, Airling and Bec Sykes. Jo created a second label imprint, Hotel Motel Records, (the first being Pieater, run with Tom Iansek and manager Tom Fraser); releasing four LPs, eight EPs and many singles; and toured Australia and Canada with the likes of Quivers and Cool Sounds, as well as working on the Pieater releases.

These years between working together gave rise to reflections upon pairing up again: what is Big Scary? The answer is it is the music made by Tom and Jo – so that’s what they embraced. Though in the past the band always wrote together, most songs and albums would be finished by Tom in the editor’s chair – arrangements, lyrics, and production. Daisy sees a more equal input from both band members, including tracking (Tom taught Jo how to engineer sessions on ProTools), singing (equal lead from both), and album art (a drawing by Jo, coloured by Tom). Taking it further, a hands-on approach was taken throughout the process – for mixing, photoshoots and music videos.

Their first album with no guitars to be heard, Daisy utilises the floating brightness of synths, melodramatic piano and strings, and sparring hand percussion; drawing on indie pop, disco, and a dash of rock eisteddfod.

Release: April 30, 2021, Pieater
Words: Pieater/[PIAS]