Prematurely write off Alice Costelloe and KC Underwood as one of those trendy lovelorn boy-girl bands, and you would be criminally wrong.  Most importantly they’re not twee, or ironic, or faddish, or rubbish in any way. In fact, their debut Lights Out is a surprisingly exciting prospect for being so downbeat.

Whereas Slow Club enjoy the occasional whoop, and Cults really do quite enjoy a rock out, Big Deal’s brace of crunched up but dialled down guitars, wistful vocals and plaintive harmonies set them well apart. So too their the percussion, conspicuous by its complete absence; the duo preferring instead to let their layered guitars and vocal interplays take the spotlights. It’s a brave move, and one that seems like a missed trick at first. On repeated listen however, each song takes on a beautiful simplicity, an elegant minimalism, in which their respective subtleties are given room to breathe.

The division of talent is no doubt equal between the two, but it’s Costelloe’s bittersweet yearnings of a grown-up teenager that define the vocals of the album. Whether it’s her grades suffering due to love-sick blues on one of the album highlights ‘Homework’ or trying to get an emotional recluse to open up on the tender ‘Locked Up’, Costelloe’s croonings never once feel affected and offer a satisfyingly atypical female perspective on things.  That said, Underwood’s complimentary harmonies work wonders throughout.

I hesitate to say this album is flawless due to the relative lack of variety from song to song, and it’s definitely not suitable for any given mood, but for what it is, Lights Out is certainly not far off.  Beguiling, heartfelt and addictive, Big Deal are certainly living up to their name.