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No Depression: Big Blue World Review

The output of any creative is one part instinct and another part self-identity. Bee Brogan and Neil Fitzsimon of Fitzsimon and Brogan describe their styles as “pure pop for now people,” and I can’t say that I disagree with their description. There’s an almost translucency in their music that borrows heavily from the bright indulgences of Cocteau Twins and the raw, brutal irreverence of The Vaselines in a way that doesn’t sound like a second or third generation descendent. Its thick layers of guitar and near-synthetic percussion create an atmospheric tidal wave that’s impossible to escape once you get caught in its alluring undercurrent.

Ironically, there’s a certain cohesiveness in making a record that’s as shapeless as Fitzsimon and Brogan’s Big Blue World. Each song can stand on its own musically as an exclusive peek into the duo’s artistry, but this collection of songs presented to us in a single place as it is here is reflective of the diversity in the band’s influences and target audience. This isn’t music that’s made for one group over another, and it rarely adheres to scene politics or the parameters of standard FM pop. This is courageously harsh tonality compressed into a polished, almost bleached packaging that is equally abstract as it is infectiously memorable. It didn’t take long for me to add a couple of Big Blue World’s tracks to my summer playlist for repeat listens.

In the jarring rock anthem “God Given Right,” Bee Brogan invokes the spirit of late 70’s garage punk in all of its furious glory and adds her own spin of rebelliousness to the mix to make for an infectiously high energy, raucous ride. Somewhere between 1999 and 2005, punk rock seemed to become a much more commercial entity than it was ever designed to become, and the whole of rock n’ roll music has suffered tremendously because of it. The bucolic ferocity of the traditional rock band become completely toned down and softened to appeal to a much wider range of listeners, and the distinctiveness of styles became watered down beyond the point of recognition. At least as this decade is wrapping up, artists like Fitzsimon and Brogan are taking strides to bring boundless passion back into the fold for rock, even in most postmodern tracks like “Blue Velvet” or the joyously rhythmic “Sea of Love,” which features a galloping, folky drum beat that I can promise you will be seared into your brain for the duration of the year.

As a music critic, I don’t always have the chance to review albums that I genuinely plan on keeping on my shelf for the long term. Big Blue World is one of the exceptional pieces though, and with the advent of online music streaming making it increasingly more accessible for fans around the world to reach artists from every corner of the globe, this could easily propel their ascension into the international pop music consciousness. They’ve got enough gas in the tank to make a really big statement with this record, and it just might be their moment to breakthrough to the big leagues.

Big Blue World (Album) Review

Fitzsimon and Brogan is a musical duo with quite a story. These two talented artists have a very special synergy, and this is not the first time they’ve worked together. They were, in fact, both members of a band called “Pretty Blue Gun”, which went on to receive critical acclaim and discographic success with two studio albums. Following the experience with the band, Fitzsimon and Brogan decided to focus on another project, collaborating on a new musical adventure with a much broader creative scope. Their most recent album, “Big Blue World” is a fantastic portrait of their magnetic personality and amazing musicianship. The release blurs the lines between pop and electronic music, echoing the greatest artists of the past, but reinterpreting pop music in a modern, fresh and lush key. Their album will certainly appeal to listeners from all walks of life, due to its charismatic and timeless tone.

Big Blue World (Single) Review

“Big Blue World” is a brand new, vibrant single from Fitzsimon and Brogan, taken from the album by the same title. The track is a lush, melodic and energetic blend of pop melodies, rock grit and indie production aesthetics, making for a sound that feels heartfelt and authentic from the moment you press play. The London-based duo set out to release a piece of music that feels compelling and genuine, highlighting the duo’s chemistry, as well as their ability to create beautiful, richly nuanced melodies.

 

Both musicians had collaborated earlier on in their career, most notably as members of “Pretty Blue Gun”, their formed band.  After releasing two well-received albums with the group, Fitzsimon and Brogan decided to focus on their solo project instead, allowing free range to their creativity. Their music could be compared to the work of artists as diverse as Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, The Beatles, David Bowie, and many more, echoing the best rock and roll and pop traditions!

Big Blue World (Single)

New single release 19th June 2018 through WTPL

  1. Big Blue World Fitzsimon and Brogan 1:16

Big Blue World (Tasters)

  1. Big Blue World Fitzsimon and Brogan 1:16
  2. Girl in a Gilded Cage Fitzsimon and Brogan 1:16