We live in a great big world with a plethora of music, but not all of this music is … well … great. But in this great big world there exists Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, a duo born in NYU’s music business program, who happen to grace this world with some pretty excellent tunes.
Ok … enough with the puns. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the post. Main idea? The singer-songwriting tandem, who have already been compared with the likes Simon and Garfunkel and modern pop-rock bands like FUN and Jukebox the Ghost (my addition to the growing list), understands the meaning of impassioned catchy compositions and is eager to share it with the … great big world.
A Great Big World really only started with Ian Axel. Chad Vaccarino was always there, but Axel ballooned as a popular New York artist after releasing a debut solo album (with all songs co-written by Vaccarino). This music gained nationwide buzz. Axel, the modern Ben Folds look-alike with a messy afro, joined Vaccarino, his manager and co-writer, on a tour, which even included a performance on the Rachael Ray Show. The duo opened shows for Ingrid Michaelson, Five For Fighting, and Glee star Matthew Morrison, and through these performances they developed a strong musical bond and friendship.
So, when an opportunity to re-brand came about the duo embraced the opportunity and combined to form A Great Big World, which has released This Is The New Year, a three-song EP under Epic Records, this year. Let’s take a listen to one of the popular pieces from the album (which appeared on Axel’s debut solo release).
There is something particularly endearing to the song’s minimalist approach. It relies heavily on melancholic piano chords and Axel’s stripped down voice. While the song does add strings that elevate the song’s warmth, it still remains a simple piece carried by an earnest vocal that maintains a high-altitude intensity that draws in listeners. It’s not a song that’s easy to give up on.