Originally, Big Eyes formed in Leeds, UK circa 2000 by James Green as a private project – a decidedly naive way of trying to create classical music. It soon outgrew the bedroom and a band formed. Big Eyes recorded four albums over the next four years for Pickled Egg Records, then split in 2004. Green then formed The Big Eyes Family Players, a more collaborative arrange based in Sheffield. They’ve released five albums of experimental chamber-folk-pop, working with the likes of Jeremy Barnes (A Hawk and a Hacksaw), Terry Edwards (Tindersticks), Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s), James Yorkston, James William Hindle, and many more. Green was also featured on two Rachel’s albums throughout his run, Systems/Layers and Technology is Killing Music.
In addition to their recorded collaborations, The Big Eyes Family Players had the pleasure of performing live film scores to the works of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer at The Roundhouse in London and The Green Man Festival. They also appeared on BBC 2′s Loose Ends with Clive Anderson and VPRO Radio in The Netherlands. Recently, The Big Eyes Family Players have performed with or supported such contemporaries as Alasdair Roberts, Pram, Sir Richard Bishop, Efterklang, Daniel Johnston, James Blackshaw, Damo Suzuki (ex-Can) and Josephine Foster.
Vinyl-centric label Karate Body is pleased to release Family Favorites, out everywhere March 22 digitally and on wax. Family Favourites is a collection of reworked old Big Eyes songs, alongside new material and covers. Family Favourties serves to reassess the back catalogue, and rework/rearrange/rerecord certain vintage materials with the most recent players to perhaps, providing more justice to these pieces that flew under the radar. Consider it a sort of a retrospective, with a new veneer.
“[The band] repeatedly tinker with rhythm, often underpinning their beautifully melancholic ballads with meandering percussive elements [that] lend themselves to something more akin to the avant garde than anything associated with traditional folk. However, they do their experimentation with one eye focused there, while the other is fixated on melodic and more traditional concerns. Makes what I call ‘finely cockeyed’ music where walls melt away and time dissociates. Wonderful, really.” - Foxy Digitalis
“The big Eyes Family Players veer abruptly from fine-honed chamber miniatures to Appalachian-dervied folk to outspread, shimmering drones” - Pitchfork
“A really stark and wirily instrumental blend of psychedelic influences held in check, as they might have been on a classic Elektra LP (:or maybe a Nick Nicley 45). The way they wave the acoustic guitar into the arrangements really reminds me of mid-period Love (if they had been into doing move soundtracks), but no in a way that I could easily explain” - The Wire