Big Words have unveiled their debut album ‘Nightmares of a Stardom Dream’, out today.
In their most authentic piece of work yet, Melbourne trio Big Words have unveiled their debut album ‘Nightmares of a Stardom Dream’, cementing them as one of the most groundbreaking independent acts to emerge from Australia in recent history.
Known for being trendsetters in Melbourne’s rich music scene, the tour follows their ‘Nightmares..’ listening party last month, coined The Listening Experience, which sold-out instantly. Now the trio will return to the stage, heading to Sydney and Brisbane in August and Melbourne in September.
Big Words East Coast Tour
Sydney, NSW – 4 Aug 23 – OAF – Caroline & Claude
Bris, QLD – 11 Aug 23 – Warehouse23 – Pink Matter
Melb, VIC – 8 Sept 23 – Northcote Theatre – Agung Mango
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The dreamy, experimental imperfections of 2020 mixtape ‘Cherry’ was a hint of their exhilarating talents, but it was more of a lockdown-induced diversion than a springboard to ‘Nightmares…’ – their first full-length was already well underway by then. It was 2017’s debut EP ‘Hollywood, A Beautiful Coincidence’ that provided their true lift-off, gaining the band a cult following in the US and UK, its success helping fund sessions for the album. They formed as teenagers almost a decade ago and this debut record is the sound of how they got here.
“‘Nightmares of a Stardom Dream’ is a relevant sentence for us and maybe anyone who’s been working through their 20s on a music career, figuring all that stuff out,” explains Big Words’ singer/multi-instrumentalist Will Scullin. “It’s very overwhelming.”
The debut sways from psychedelic-soul grooves to alt-R&B bops to cosmic folk to infectious indie-pop and more, music that captures the existential melting pot of early adulthood, all the excitement, uncertainty, dread and hope at once. Choosing to release the record independently forced the trio to get creative on achieving a big sound without the big bucks, and that thrill of imagination is streaked throughout ‘Nightmares..’ sonic worldview.
“We had to scheme on this record for so long that it made it better than what we could have imagined it to be,” claims Big Word’s singer/multi-instrumentalist Kieren Lee. “If we had the budget and everything straight away, it wouldn’t have come out the same way as it did, with all the favours we pulled and experiences we had along the way.”
“Yeah,” nods Scullin. “Over the last decade, we’ve met some great people who have come in handy…”
Those favours include recording strings in a warehouse at the back of a guitar shop with microphones hanging from the roof, whilst one orchestral part was recorded by jumping onto the last ten minutes of a string session booking for a TV show. “We won’t say what the TV show was so don’t get our engineer in trouble,” Scullin laughs.
The beauty of ‘Nightmares of a Stardom Dream’ is that none of the off-the-cuff wheeling and dealing, scrabbling for session time feeds into the finished record. It’s an album that feels loose and welcome, with an ease about it that ushers you in and compels you to play it from start to finish. It’s a debut made in its creators’ image.
“It’s expression itself,” says Lee. “It’s documenting the experiences we’ve had in a poetic way, adding music and poetry to them.”
“It’s about what you feel in your 20s,” agrees Scullin, “love and fear, a lot of doubt, a lot of courage. Anxiety. Mental health.” A lot of the lyrical themes come back to the idea of being yourself.”
“We’re not Harry Styles or Justin Bieber, out there with some sort of persona,” says Lee. “We’re the everyday person, we’re the guys you see serving you your coffee or waiting your table or at a record store, the guy down the pub. We’re those people.”
“We’re unpolished, imperfect humans and we’re proud of that,” concludes Scullin. “That’s what we want to convey to people. We’re not stars.” In these snapshots of their day-to-day lives, though, Big Words have made something magical. Out of the ordinary has emerged a very special debut album.
Stream the album here. Tour tickets will go on sale soon.