The Big Scary

The Four Seasons

by Dylan Nelson

18 September 2011

 
cover art

The Big Scary

The Four Seasons

(PID)
US: Import
UK: 14 Dec 2010

The four seasons—those old favorites, spring, summer, autumn and winter—get a gentle if somewhat mundane treatment from Australian folksy-popsy duo the Big Scary on The Four Seasons, an appropriately named compilation of the four season-themed EPs released during 2010. Combining soft guitar chords, soft piano chords, soft singing and the occasional dramatic cymbal crash, Tom Iansek and Jo Syme evoke the wistful, self-defeating optimism of an indie spring (“Spring”), the contemplative, earth-toned picturesqueness of a Sufjan-Stevens-themed fall (“Autumn”), and the bleak-but-beautiful delicacy of an exceptionally moody winter (“Winter”). The EPs are self-contained capsules, each with a different sound. For summer the duo plugs in the amps and takes off on a downright White Stripes-inspired binge. The result is an album full of jarring transitions. Even taken in chunks, the concept makes it too explicitly, outwardly pointed not to feel parochial; “Summer”, for example, with its muted, yearning organ and shivering piano keys, is a made-to-order reflection piece on the high bloom of natural life. Without the rest of the EP as context, it would be corny. Despite some clever turns of phrase and a charming chameleon quality, The Four Seasons suffers from the abstracted, sentimental natue-gazing of the record’s cyclical origins.

The Four Seasons

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.

 


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Nashville Singer-Songwriter Natalie Hemby

// Sound Affects

"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.

READ the article