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The Big V The Big V

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Big and bluesy with undercurrents of something more soulful…the Big V describe themselves as the perfect combination of striking looks and artful hooks.

CF Verdict

The Big V are a five-piece band from Exeter fronted by brother and sister Emily and Alex Johnstone. Heavily influenced by their father Phil Johnstone (who worked with Robert Plant for eight years) their sound is described as a musical journey into all those who have inspired them… and what a weird and wonderful journey it is.

Listening through their Soundcloud tracks (and there are plenty of them!) is like disappearing down the rabbit hole. Its virtually impossible to listen to one track and get a handle on exactly what this group are all about, you have to listen to 3 or 4 and keep listening and keep listening. It’s music with an addictive quality and it’s so varied it keeps you coming back for more.

Their band bio talks about taking the listener on a journey into the worlds of people who have inspired them and you can really pick out individual influences in their music whether it be the early big blues rock of the afformentioned Led Zeppelin on tracks like ’200 Miles to Berlin’, or the grungier ‘Black Bear 3′, an almost Santana-esque atmopshric pop vibe on Medicine, hints of a big psychedelic Tame Impala like sound on ‘Murder Song’ or’ Guilty’ and an unmistakeable Bar Keys style funk on ‘Cool’ this is a band of musicians who clearly have talent by the boat load and arent afraid to mix it up. 

In amongst all of the great genre-bending instrumental work are the vocals of Emily Johnstone and brother Alex which almost Fleetwood Mac style have the range, in Emily’s case especially, to go from a turned up to 11 rock to a sultry blues to an acoustic ballad effortlessly.

The songwriting is great, the mix of styles is great and its going to take something very special to stop them being in our list of tracks of the year. The only problem is choosing just one…

Check out Murder Song below:

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