Big Surprise – “Caesium”


“Caesium” is a climactic blast of ’90s alt-rock nostalgia from Big Surprise, the Oakland-based duo of Arthur Leon Adams III and Kathryn Evangeline Adams. Citing textured rock influences like Mazzy Star, Low, and Yo La Tengo, Big Surprise embrace both spacious envelopment and distortion-friendly vigor on “Caesium,” whose tonal peaks and valleys alike enamor.

Heavy guitar pulses tout a raucous enthrallment to start, quickly shifting into a hypnotic dual-vocal yearning. “I don’t understand this place, and the way it calls you,” they sing into a ringing assortment of guitars. A distorted backbone and twangy reflection arise alongside the vocals’ intensification, contemplating on shifts and changes with an existentialist tint. “Space and time,” marks an especially invigorating escalation, attaining a blissfully nostalgic glow.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of May 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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