Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe joined forces as Big Deal just last year. The duo has already proven their credibility with successful album Lights Out. The CD is well constructed with the sounds of a strumming acoustic guitar and the harmony of both male and female vocals.

With eerie instrumentals and soft melodies, Lights Out conveys emotions of longing and distress. The album has an overall eccentric, retro-indie feel. It is composed primarily of slow acoustic songs about youth and unrequited love. Although each deal with similar issues, the 12 tracks are vastly different in their assembly.

“Distant Neighborhood,” “Cool Like Kurt” and “Visions” portray these hardships with their relaxing tunes. The talented vocals serve to be the focal points of these tracks, with the instruments acting as background and support. The effect is tranquil and cathartic.

In contrast, “Homework,” is meaningful because of its stinging guitar sounds and distinct instrumentals. The yearning vocals are still present but do not seem to be the concentration. Instead, they are intertwined with various instruments to create an astonishing composition.

Several other songs also differ from the calming approach present in much of the album. “With The World At My Feet” conveys the struggle of acceptance with its use of repetitive lyrics. The vocalists are separated in “Summer Cold,” which has specific verses designated to Underwood and others to Costelloe. However, perhaps the most unique creation on Lights Out is track six, “Talk.” This is the sole song in which Big Deal breaks away from their shield of youthful innocence. “Talk” is fast-paced and provocative, full of obscenities and bitter lyrics.

Big Deal’s Lights Out is a sentimental, deeply personal album. It is emotional and relatable. With peaceful melodies, the duo manages to set the mood of nostalgia, wonder and hardship.

In A Word: Expressive

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