Boomkat Product Review:
It's been three years since the last Big Eyes album ('Folk Songs II' on Static Caravan) and a whole six years since they released an album of original material (not including 2011's superb reworked best-of, Family Favourites').
"The group, who have previously collaborated with the likes of James Yorkston, Alasdair Roberts and Rachel Grimes, are now a slimmed-down 5-piece with a sound that veers closer towards the 60's psychedelic pop of the likes of United States of America and Broadcast than it does to the instrumentals or folk songs Big Eyes are perhaps best known for.
'Oh!' consists mainly of self-penned, vocal-led songs, written by James Green and Heather Ditch with themes ranging from family dysfunction, to hauntings, to fictional historical events. The centrepiece of the album is the dramatic 'Joyce' which concerns the true story of Joyce Vincent, who was found dead in her flat in London three years after she died, her TV set still on, unopened Christmas presents at her feet, whilst another highlight, the wonderful 'Song For Thirza' is the only cover on the album - a little-known song by Lal Waterson and a true-story about a girl who lived with the Waterson family, rescued from the workhouse back in the 1950's.
The sound of the album is perhaps best described as psychedelic pop, with fizzing organs and droning synths, flutes, reverbed guitars and bass and playful drums swirling around Heather's delay-soaked vocals. The album was recorded in Sheffield, UK, and produced by Sheffield music-maestro Dean Honer (I Monster, Eccentronic Research Council, Moonlandingz). Also guesting on the album is viola and saw-player Aby Vulliamy (National Jazz Trio of Scotland/Trembling Bells/Aidan Moffat).”