LONDON outfit Big Deal are back with their third album, Say Yes, and they say it’s bolder than ever – thanks to Depeche Mode.
Having received widespread praise for their first two albums – 2011’s Lights Out and its 2013 follow-up June Gloom – the band were invited to join electronica hit makers Depeche Mode, whose hits include 1990’s Enjoy the Silence, on tour.
“Something clicked for us during that time,” explains Big Deal’s Alice Costelloe, who formed the band in 2010 with Kacey Underwood. “Touring with Depeche Mode made us realise we had been hiding when we should be stepping in to the light.”
This realisation resulted in the band adopting a stronger, bolder attitude to making music.
New album Say Yes began as an entirely self-funded project. “We had to borrow money to get the album made – it was very risky,” she adds.
The task was made more challenging when the duo’s laptop, containing demos and ideas for the record, was stolen in December 2014.
“We had to start everything from scratch – it was fight or flight and we decided to fight,” she says. “Pretty much everything that could fall apart for us, did. This included parting with our label (Mute), breaking up a relationship, band members leaving and losing all of our music when my apartment was broken in to.
“We didn’t want to give up, or revel in our misery. We decided instead to try and turn it into something magic.”
Following a 10-day recording window last summer, the duo road tested the new material while touring with Drenge and Peace, before approaching labels.
“It was not an easy period but we decided to see it all as some sort of blessing,” Kacey explains. As with June Gloom, additional support came from outside, in this case Dom Boyce from Peace, who guest spots on drums, alongside full-time members Jessica Batour (drums) and Jesse Wong (bass).
Typically confessional, it’s hard not to connect with the raw honesty of the lyrics on Say Yes.
Alice admits: “We’ve done everything backwards. Most bands spend a few years figuring themselves out before releasing a record. We released a record and then have spent a few years finding ourselves.
“We’ve always been pretty private about our relationship within the band, but feel more comfortable talking about it for this record as it’s pivotal in the placement of our career.
“It’s about taking all kinds of heartbreak and defeat, and just looking at it dead in the eye and going for it.”
Big Deal will play at the Boileroom in Guildford on Monday (13 June).
Upcoming Boileroom gigs include City of Ashes & Miss Vincent (20 June), Declan McKenna (22 June), Vessels (23 June), and Hanshotfirst UK (24 June).