Big Nothing | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN
The Key Studio Sessions: Big Nothing
Is three songwriters too many? Not when you’re talking about Philadelphia’s Big Nothing. The DIY rock four-piece finds singer-guitarists Pat Graham and Matt Quinn, and singer-bassist Liz Parsons, all sharing equal time at the microphone, and the vibe you’ll get from song to song shifts depending on who’s taking lead. Quinn’s jams sit best alongside the gravelly anthems of The Menzingers and Gaslight Anthem, while Parsons leans decidedly more indiepop (think that dog.) and Graham is all about spirited power pop with Replacements-style feeling.
What unifies Big Nothing, beyond their name and their collective great taste, is remarkably tight playing — snappy fuzz pedal jams propelled by drummer Chris Jordan and kicked out with expeditious run times of three minutes or fewer — not to mention experience, which stretches from West Chester’s Spraynard (Graham) to Gainesville’s Young Livers (Jordan). Non-musical bonus round: in addition to their respective roots in Casual and Crybaby, Parsons and Quinn are part of the team behind the amazing West Philly vegan bakery Dottie’s Donuts. In short, these people know how to kick out the jams as well as they know their plant-based treats, and after convening in Philly in 2017 to release their debut EP, Big Nothing will release their debut LP Chris this Friday on Detroit label Salinas Records.
For their Key Studio Session, Big Nothing treated us to sick live performances of the first four songs on Chris — the Quinn-led catchy rager “Waste My Time,” the soaring Parsons song “Calm Me Down,” and Graham’s punchy, powerful “Always Prepared,” which you can watch a video of below. The set wrapped with another Quinn jam, “Carried Away,” reinvented from its heavier album version into a clean-tone ballad about the stress and strain of the race through life and the way those we love don’t always follow at our same pace.
Tonight, Big Nothing kicks off its spring co-headlining tour with Radiator Hospital (who also releases a new album on Salinas Records this Friday) at Space Litter in Richmond, Virginia; they’re on the road for two weeks before playing a homecoming set on Tuesday, May 21st at PhilaMOCA. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calender, full tour dates can be found below, along with an audio archive of Big Nothing’s entire Key Studio Session.
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May 6 Richmond, VA Space Litter
May 7 Durham, NC Pinhook
May 8 Athens, GA Flicker
May 9 Atlanta, GA Casa Nova
May 10 Chattanooga, TN Sluggo’s
May 11 Nashville, TN Hollywood Hideout
May 12 Bloomington, IN Venue TBD
May 13 Columbus, OH Dirty Dungarees Laundromat
May 14 Chicago, IL Empty Bliss
May 15 Grand Rapids, MI Corner Record Shop
May 16 Detroit, MI Outer Limits
May 17 Toronto, Canada Hard Luck Bar *W/ Samiam
May 18 Montreal, Canada Pouzza Fest
May 19 New York, NY Trans-Pecos
May 21 Philadelphia, PA PhilaMOCA