Big Blood & the Bleedin’ Hearts – Big Blood & the Bleedin’ Hearts (2008)
Big Blood are a compelling duo primarily comprised of Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella but, in this case backed up with the aid of Tom Kovacevic, Micah Blue Smaldone and Kelly Nesbitt. Big Blood are a dainty group of talented folkers who grasp a wide variety of genres that reflect in the music – from the spiritual cries and traditional folk of the Trees Community to the exploration and experimentation of cultured pop music derived from the Sun City Girls. Evidence of these influences can be heard exclusively with their unearthly harmomies and gorgeous vocals that are employed as the music’s centerpiece.
Big Blood and the Bleedin’ Hearts are one of Big Blood’s few studio albums as the band’s recordings are frequently concert-orientated. The album features eleven short tracks, each of which although amorous and comforting on the crust have a core that transverses the limits as to which Big Blood can push the proverbial boundaries of production, melodies and instrumentation. Dissimilar to their discarnate avant-folk peers, Big Blood’s vaporous hymns and nimble banjo jams conform to the characteristics of pop music. Sure, theoretically this is folk but the essence of Big Blood and the Bleedin’ Hearts is its often nostalgia-inducing pop sensibilities, reminiscent from the psychedelic gospel whines.
Principally, the underlying feature of Big Blood is the vocals – it is as if every sound revolves and adapts to Colleen’s voice – every overlayed strum and harmonica lamentation reverberates and circumducts around those vocal stabs, assuaging and engaging the listener by overwhelming them in glorious arrangements. They bounce off eachother co-operatively and mellitlously and uniquely and this is what makes Big Blood’s music so gratifying. Big Blood will not be welcome to everybody’s ears but I hope as you listen, you too adopt a similar sentimentality and understanding of how curiously anomalous and fascinating this band truly is.