It’s been a remarkable few years for Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe, the London-based duo better known as Big Deal. After meeting in 2010 when Kacey taught Alice some songs on guitar, the twists and turns of their on-going relationship has been documented via their catalogue of intense rock-pop songs. “Our relationship has always given us plenty of inspiration to write music.” Costelloe says.
Having received widespread acclaim for their first two albums, 2011’s ‘Lights Out’ and 2013’s ‘June Gloom’, the band were invited to join Depeche Mode on tour. “Something clicked for us during that time,” they explain. “Touring with them 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.
Released via FatCat Records, ‘Say Yes’, the band’s third studio album, began as an entirely self-funded project. “We had to borrow money to get the album made—it was very risky,” explains Costelloe.
The task was only made more challenging when the duo’s laptop, containing demos and ideas for the new record, was stolen in December of 2014. “We had to start everything from scratch—it was fight or flight and we decided to fight,” they say. “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.”
Typically confessional, it’s hard not to connect with the raw honesty of the lyrics on ‘Say Yes’. Sonically the record still sounds very much like Big Deal, but it evidences a certain newfound confidence, the pair explain “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.”