Having come together in late 2015, Big Bliss is the beautifully ruminating post-punk brainchild of brothers Tim and Cory Race. The brothers, having been split early on, each with a separate parent, had never played together over a cumulative 25 years of music, until both moved to New York from the Midwest. Years into living blocks from each other, they formed the band with friend and collaborator Wallace May, initially as a casual recording project.
However, after the 2016 release of their debut EP Keep Near (Exit Stencil Recordings), motives and motivations shifted, and it became pretty difficult not to see the name Big Bliss on a show bill, especially at the remaining DIY spaces in NYC. Tireless efforts and undeniable passion on and off the stage landed the band on FIVE tours, and earned them the title of Oh My Rockness’ Hardest Working Band of 2017.
Their instruments alone are enough to fill any room, no matter the size. Tim’s effectual and guttural vocals can either hover above the mix, or swoop through it, giving an actual tangibility to this “feelings” thing on which you can’t quite put your finger. Lyrically, it is a challenge to Race’s notions of identity (Duplicate), a hidden history of addiction (RTK), and in the record’s opening salvo, Constants, the destruction left in the wake of a twenty-something person chasing “constant, eternal bliss,” and alienating the ones he loves. He asks how we cope with events that shift our concepts of ourselves, like the death of an alcoholic uncle (Richard Race), or the end of a devoted companionship (High Ideal). He’s both looking inward and reaching out, hoping to find solid ground somewhere in between, a place from which he can be a better friend, a better lover, a place from where he can meet you.