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Big Girl

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Tetchy & Big Girl swing down South for sweet SXSW bound tour

photos by Reja Khan, Sydney Tate, Yan K, Tyler Bertram, and Nicole Miller (above)
tetchy live montage video shot and edited by Daniel Moore (below) 

If you’ve ever been to a party where a rakish young man sporting a tousled shag coif says “meet me in the bathroom” and proceeds to offer you a six pack of Pepsi and 6 bags of Pop Rocks and you say hey why not, we only live once and proceed to ingest all six bags and down all six sodas which after a brief period of intestinal distress sets off an chemical acidic reaction of an intensity not seen since Mount Vesuvius buried all those pervy pagan Pompeians in hot lava and rips your stomach wide open from the inside out just like happened to that cute, moon-faced tousle-headed kid from the old breakfast cereal TV advertisements your parents made you watch on youtube or so the legend goes then you’ve got some idea of what’s in store for you if you go see Big Girl and Tetchy on tour together just CLICK HERE for a full list of dates and venues...

…with the salient-if-somewhat-labored point here being that here ya got two gender-subversive bands who just like Pepsi & Pop Rocks blur the distinction between sugary sweet (melodically, vocally, temperamentally) and aggressively in-your-face-ily pungent which granted may not make make your stomach explode but it will make your heart grow by three sizes at least all while gleefully melting your face off with frenzied acid-rock-ifed shreadin’ and yellin’ in the midst of pop-songs-that-rock and rock-songs-that-pop and one can only imagine what a combustible combination it’ll be with the two of ‘em put together with fully activated wonder twin powers (it doesn't hurt they share a member too) and oh by the way the live video clip found up top should give you some idea of what it’ll be like seeing Tetchy live (filmed at the very wicked Our Wicked Lady) so best gird your loins and say your Hell Yeah Marys…

…in preparation for Tetchy and Big Girl coming to your local VFW Hall or Elk's Lodge as they make their way from their native stomping groups of Brooklyn (Elsewhere, The Broadway) on down to a scrappy little music fest called South By Southwest to play a full slate of gigs in and around Austin (keep it weird!) and then finally back again for a homecoming show at Brooklyn’s Alphaville but not before hitting six Southern fried cities on the way to SXSW (if you don’t live in any of those cities well here’s a good excuse to visit!) and oh by the way this is a good time to mention how the live montage of Tetchy seen above is an original Deli Mag Films Productio (you heard it here first!) brought to you by our very own newly minted videographer Daniel Moore (Dimo Films) who first made his debut on this site back in December with a cool montage of Moon Kissed playing the first of their Heaven-Purgatory-Hell-themed shows at Baby’s All Right…

…but hey if you prefer florid prose to professionally shot video (or if you enjoy both!) be sure to check out these two Deli pieces on Tetchy and on Big Girl posted to this site and either way you’ll no doubt wanna keep an eye out for exciting new releases coming up from both bands in the weeks and months to come (note: before the tour proper starts Tetchy play in Philly at Kung Fu Necktie on 2/15 and here in NYC with Crazy and the Brains at Saint Vitus on 2/16) and truly the South Will Rise Again when these soul-baring-big-hearted-hard-rockin' Brooklynite babes drop in on their backyard barbecues so better lock up your sons and daughters cuz the Tetchy-Big Girl caravan is comin’ to your town (alongside lots of other great acts on each bill) so catch ‘em while you can before they blow up big like that poor little kid’s stomach. (Jason Lee)

3/3 -- The Broadway (Brooklyn, Tetchy only) with TVOD and Bats Bats Bats Ghost Ghost Ghost
3/4 -- Elsewhere (Brooklyn, Big Girl only) with Castle Rat and Lord Friday the 13th
3/6 -- The Runaway (Washington D.C., Tetchy only)
3/7 -- Arson House (Richmond, VA)
3/8 -- Static Age (Asheville, NC)
3/9 -- MOTR Pub (Cincinnati, OH)
3/10 -- Portal (Louisville, KY)
3/12 -- DRKMTTR (Nashville, TN)
3/14 thru 3/17 -- SXSW (Austin, TX)
3/30 -- Alphaville (Brooklyn, NY)


PREMIERE: Big Girl go big on epic late-summer jammer "Summer Sickness"

photograph by Sydney Tate

To see Big Girl play live is to be sucked into and enveloped by the band’s immersive mix of glitter-encrusted glam-rock-ish grandiloquence mixed with unguarded singer-songwriter-ish intimacy—with a notable flair for theatricalized self-presentation that makes the smallest dive bar feel like a Phantom of the Paradise style amphitheater—but not lacking for a light touch where called for nor an overall sense of unbound joy, as personified by band-fronting vocalist-guitarist Kaitlin Pelkey who commands the stage resplendent in her trademark neon orange-red jumpsuit like a flamboyant fighter pilot (or a long-lost member of The Clash?) who just happens to compose rock operas…

…flanked at all times by her two backup-singer assistants (although hardly “assistants” in the sense of remaining in the background!) a duo whose soaring harmonies and choreographed gesticulations and perambulations about the stage are musically and visually redolent of the Shangri-Las crossed with Divine-as-Babs-Johnson taken both the gum-snapping sass and the operatic dramatics of said entities and dialing them up to “11”…

…all of which sits atop a solid musical foundation laid down by a band obviously skilled at making seamless transitions between fever-pitched face-melting musical passage and more dialed-down ornate Baroque pop and pastoral folk passages all of which is pretty fantastic live but which begs the question whether Big Girl can translate their theatrical musical pageantry to the sound recording medium and as it turns out the answer is “yes” based on their brand new single “Summer Sickness” released hot off the griddle today…

…which serves as a sneak-peak teaser to the band’s upcoming debut LP Big Girl vs. GOD but which all on its own serves as a fitting introduction to the full expanse of the Big Girl musical universe over its five-minute running time, a song that should please both adherents of Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin IV in equal measure not to mention fans of immaculately constructed indie pop (e.g., Warpaint, Band of Horses, Angel Olsen) and/or fans of mind-bending psychedelic-tinged hard rockin’ rock (e.g., Death Valley Girls, Pond, Ty Segall)…

…and if you're into the latter just check out the sick coda of "Summer Sickness" which in actuality takes up the entire last two minutes of the song and all I gotta say is that I’ve already added the track to my songs with sublime endings playlist what with the overall sublimity of the escalating, extended manic panic wall-of-sound outro and then there’s the music video too which is sublime on its own term with its pastoral-psychedelia vibes and synchronized dances performed in a forest clearing and btw if you hadn't notice the video's embedded multiple time above so as to be accessible no matter which paragraph you’re currently reading…

…but still you may ask yourself “what’s it all about?” and “what could possibly inspire such inspired music?” and hey far be for me to speculate, but lucky for us Kaitlin Pelkey herself was kind enough to provide some revealing personal insights (on short notice, no less!) into the lyrical content of “Summer Sickness” and re: the song's emotionally intense genesis as well as the creative process behind its construction and the musical personnel who brought it to life. So read on, dear reader, as all will be revealed after the jump… (Jason Lee)

The release show for "Summer Sickness" happens this Saturday (8/20) at The Broadway (Brooklyn) presented by our friends at Booked By Grandma


Kaitlin Pelkey: I wrote “Summer Sickness” in July 2020. Sitting in my backyard early in the morning I think it was like 6 AM on a Friday. I couldn't sleep and at the time I was going through a lot, the world was still in quarantine and earlier that year January 2020 my mother experienced a very serious brain hemorrhage.

It changed her life and my life forever. She went from living a totally independent life to losing all of the abilities that made her independent. Talking, eating, walking, voluntary movement, everything. This was all happening parallel with the pandemic when people all over the world were getting incredibly sick and dying. 

It was the most challenging thing I had ever gone through. To experience all of that grief and hardship with my family while navigating this rapidly changing world... it was like being on the moon. Nothing was familiar. Meanwhile the rest of the world was going through this kind of parallel traumatic experience. 

"In this year’s division / suffering is a season / but when the wind is blowing / I feel it die" 

When writing it, I thought of summer sickness as a spell for forgiveness. I was really angry at the time with the injustice of the situation that I was going through personally and then also the injustices happening all over the world. I was trying to find a way to contain the experience - my mom's illness felt totally enveloping and overwhelming and the metaphor of a season was comforting. In a way it was like an inside joke only I understood -- "call it summer sickness" *shrug*. 

If suffering is a season, the intensity and heat of the moment is temporary, necessary. A rare cool wind signals the possibility of release. Death. Freedom. I was trying very hard to admit these difficult truths and find solace in them. 

My mom spent a lot of time sleeping when she was sick. At moments she was in and out of a coma-like state. Often medically induced. I imagine her dreaming a lot and wondered what she would dream about. Before she had her stroke she also loved sleeping and she told me that she would she knew she was really happy in her life when she would have dreams of flying. 

I would imagine this approaching autumn wind, sweeping her up and carrying her to a place of freedom where her body was her friend and she could fly just like in her dreams. Freedom for her and for everybody. I imagined her flying over mountains and skyscrapers and oceans. The big operatic ahhs in the chorus of “Summer Sickness” are the sound of her flight. 

On the creative process and band/record personnel: 

Kaitlin Pelkey: We recorded the core guitar (Crispin Swank), bass (Elizabeth Sullivan), and drums (Liza Winter) live at a studio in Brooklyn in April 2021 with engineer Phil Duke. We later recorded lead vocals at our old rehearsal space in Ridgewood. Crispin set up the microphone and protools session and sat on the floor outside the studio door while I cranked out several vocal takes. I worked in the dark and oscillated between dancing and sitting while envisioning myself singing from the top of a mountain. 

Christina Schwedler of Elee Pink and Melody Stolpp of Sweetbreads added the additional vocals -- namely the soaring operatic ahhs in the chorus. 

Summer Sickness was produced mainly by Big Girl's guitarist Crispin Swank who is responsible for the lush and prismatic guitar arrangements that weave through this song. This was the first song we worked on with mixing engineer Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Speedy Ortiz) who would become our very close collaborator and co-producer for the rest of the album. 

We figured out a lot about the record by working on Summer Sickness. The production in Summer Sickness set a precedent for the deep and intricate layers of guitars that ended up being definitive to the sound of this album. 


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