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A Magazine for Sheffield


The latest album by The Big Eyes Family Players feels otherworldly yet strangely seductive. In the past Big Eyes were an instrumental band that collaborated with vocalists such as James Yorkston and Adrian Crowley. However, with the introduction of Heather Ditch the group have taken a more vocal-led approach for Oh!

Their new release sees Big Eyes create an elegant mix of sombre and melancholic pop music. The band haven't veered too far away from their past endeavours in soundtracks and folk music nevertheless, and Ditch's vocals lend the album a restrained yet evocative quality. You could say that Oh! is reminiscent of the Birmingham group Broadcast, since her voice has a similarly icy presence to Trisha Keenan's. This isn't to say that they are mere copyists though, as Big Eyes put their own spin on familiar territory.

With help from producer Dean Honer of I Monster they add just the right amount of electronic flourishes to give the music depth and personality. Ditch's vocals phase in and out of the mix, at times floating on top of the drums, guitars and organ.

A minor drawback is that most of the album remains mid-tempo, meaning it can occasionally merge into the background. Overall it is an absorbing listen, but a more obvious change in tempo on some songs could have given Oh! more urgency.