Big Scary


bark138: Big Scary / Not Art

Not Art

“Luck Now”

VIDEOS:Luck Now”   “Twin Rivers”   “Invest

bark142: Big Scary / Twin Rivers EP

Twin Rivers EP

The story of Big Scary begins in Melbourne, Australia, where duo Tom Iansek and Jo Syme, armed with just acoustic guitars and egg shakers, started playing songs together in the living room of Syme’s parents' house, gradually working up to a bolder, more expansive sound. What began as a few rainy day acoustic ballads in their first incarnation soon grew, and before long, the newly named Big Scary were writing anything they pleased — fuzzed-out garage rock; piano-led pop; intricate, pastoral instrumentals — each imbued with an effortless pop sensibility and lightness of touch that would quickly see the duo attract a strong following in their home country.

2012 saw Big Scary take its first small steps onto the world stage — earning further underground acclaim via a self-funded North American tour that saw Tom and Jo play SXSW, CMW, and CMJ, impressing whatever audiences happened upon the versatility, lovable magnetism, intelligent songwriting and dynamic live performances that make up the band's riveting shows. On the heels of their adventures abroad, an invigorated Tom and Jo returned home and began recording their second full length album, Not Art, which brought them the 2014 Australian Music Prize. Recorded and produced by Big Scary's own Iansek, and mixed by Grammy Award-winner Tom Elmhirst (Hot Chip, Lily Allen, Adele, Black Keys, Amy Winehouse, The Kills), Not Art distills influences of indie rock song structure, pop and hip-hop production, and experimental ambient music — it's ambitious, featuring towering guitars paired with reverberating drumming that gives way on occasion to programmed electronics and home-recorded loops; cooing synths that gild Iansek's and Syme's startlingly diverse vocals; and, most of all, a unique musical vision that sounds unlike anything else happening right now in pop music.

Big Scary releases new track "Organism" 27 Jul 2015

Acclaimed Australian duo Big Scary returns to their creative, musical sanctum and releases new song "Organism." The grooving, rhythm-driven track is the first new music fans will have the chance to hear since the US release of their Australian Music Prize-winning full-length, Not Art, in January 2014. Listen here.

The pair have been spending a great deal of their time working on new material for their upcoming album, and are currently putting the finishing touches on what is set to be another forward-thinking journey into one of the most inventive and challenging pop acts in recent years. As frontman/producer Tom Iansek said of the song, "it's moving back towards Jo and me as a band and the dynamic between us. It's refocusing on the duo. With this has come a lot of stripping back of the non-essential, using less to create more. Using new and unfamiliar textures but keeping the performance firmly grounded in that of two people playing." Drummer Jo Syme added, "it's a quirky, three-minute pop song — obnoxious sax stabs dance with the bass, and the simple parts slot in around each other with little rhythmic tricks."

Big Scary are set to take their new song (and maybe a few more works-in-progress) on the road this September for a headlining North American tour, kicking off in Vancouver on September 4 at The Cobalt, hitting Bumbershoot, Pygmalion, and Midpoint music festivals, and ending October 2 at Mercury Lounge in New York City. The band is set to tour the EU & UK through the end of the year. You can find all tour dates and information at, or on Barsuk's shows page.