BABY TV Presents

The Big Easy

All Ages
Presented by BABY TV

If you need advice on how to make it through a long year, ​The Big Easy ​has some tips. Founded in 2014, The Big Easy was, for a while at least, the solo project of singer-songwriter Stephen Berthomieux​. But that was never his intention. “I’ve always had a rotating cast of musicians around me,” says Berthomieux. “The initial idea was that no matter who floated in or out around me, The Big Easy would always be a thing.”

With a lineup finally solidified around him, The Big Easy is now an actual band, and Berthomieux is using that fact to give the project a soft reboot. “I wanted this to be a brand new, refreshed band. It’s not just me, it’s us,” he says, “When I talk about The Big Easy, I say ‘we,’ because it’s not about me anymore. The proof of that can be heard throughout ​A Long Year​, The Big Easy’s debut record on Forged Artifacts.

As you may have guessed, the album’s title is a direct reference to a year in Berthomieux’s life that was anything but simple. After going through a break-up, he moved out of his parents’ house in New Jersey and into Brooklyn — then quickly had to turn right back around and move back to New Jersey. It was in the midst of this that Berthomieux dug in to find the creative spirit inside of himself. Songs came out one by one, and as The Big Easy’s lineup solidified with Stephen Adams on guitar and Pete Clark on drums, an album slowly started to take shape.

From the first notes of “It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Hurt,” The Big Easy starts A Long Year ​with bombastic, buzzing music that sounds tailor made for a raucous loft party. The song draws a loose circle around emo, pop-punk, and indie rock, but without playing by any of those genre rules. Though “It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Hurt” surfaced on a previous release, it reaches its final form here, with a catchy lead guitar line that literally sounds like a rush of serotonin running through your body. “That song kind of felt like the first song I wrote for this record, without even knowing I was writing a record,” says Berthomieux.

Though it opens on a note of pure ebullience, ​A Long Year dances across genres and stylistic boundaries, and not in some calculated way. The members of The Big Easy don’t pull from any one box, so they don’t fit in one either. “I never wanted to sound like any one band; I just wanted to create a record with a sonic personality. I wanted it to be so distinctive, that you know it was The Big Easy’s ​A Long Year b​ecause the drums sounded like this or the vocals sounded like that,” says Berthomieux. That meant accurately documenting the band’s personality instead of settling on some slick, studio-crafted sound. “I love lo-fi music because it conveys so much personality. Sonically, I was trying to bridge the gap between being something accessible, where it was clean and loud enough to hear what you needed to hear, but it had that lo-fi, band playing in a basement sound to it,” says Berthomieux.

Much like the year it chronicles, the recording process for ​A Long Year t​ook longer than Berthomieux expected, but all that work pays off in the final product. Produced and engineered by Tom Warren, then handed off to Erik Romero for mixing Christian Deutsch for mastering, the record took on the personality of the people Berthomieux trusted to help make ​A Long Year exactly what he always envisioned. “The process was really long and drawn out, but I think that’s what makes the record what it is in a weird way. The Big Easy is a lo-fi indie band, and all the other genres we fall into, punk, emo, whatever, I don’t care; we are going to be the band that brings you this really raw personality, while making it as accessible as possible, without losing that essential aspect of where I came from as a musician.”

Elements of everything from Cursive to PUP to the Beach Boys surface on ​A Long Year, and on repeat listens, those sonic reference points feel all the more apt. With songs like “Fake It Till I Make It” and “If I Knew It Was The Last Time,” The Big Easy confidently transforms on a dime, dodging predictable patterns to instead create big cathartic moments that feel truly earned. That’s because everything about ​A Long Year f​ eels informed by struggle, but not mired in it. By the record’s end, both The Big Easy and the audience have gone on a journey, and they’re both better off for it.

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Venue Information:
Baby's All Right
146 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY, 11211