Six years into Dutch Uncles’ flourishing career, the idiosyncratic art-popologists return with new album Big Balloon which sees them further distilling and refining their signature sound, marrying rock bombast with classical arrangements, acoustic instrumentation with smart synthetic pop.
Big Balloon is Dutch Uncles’ most direct record to date, the sound of a wildly witty band well and truly finding their stride, whilst lyrically tackling the growing pains of being twentysomething in a generic Northern suburbia.
With Big Balloon, Dutch Uncles continue their fascinating, wonky ascent which has seen them play enormodomes with emo punk rock behemoths and self-confessed Dutch Uncles acolytes Paramore, supporting and being supported by likeminded left-field pop adventurers Wild Beasts, Outfit, Field Music, and Everything Everything, have a burger named after them by one of Manchester’s premiere eateries and prefigure Future Islands’ dance moves meme in their video for 2013 single Flexxin.
Big Balloon was recorded with long term collaborator Brendan Williams at Manchester’s old Granada studios; infamous for being the place that Sex Pistols and Joy Division made their TV debuts. The band were meticulous in tweaking their synth sounds so they’d fit seamlessly with the harp, xylophone, marimba, string and woodwind sounds that populate the record. Sources of inspiration for the record included The Blue Nile, Kate Bush’s third album, Never For Ever, Igor Stravinsky, Japan and lyrically John Cooper Clarke, Sparks, Ian Dury and Prefab Sprouts’ album From Langley Park to Memphis.