Big Scary

Tom was a strummer. Jo was a drummer. The two began jamming in a suburban Naarm/Melbourne living room and became Big Scary. More than 15 years later, Tom Iansek and Jo Syme are recognised as one of Australian music’s most respected and restlessly innovative indie partnerships.

Forming in 2006, Tom and Jo never thought being a two-piece felt like a limitation. Instead, their carefree approach to genre made their boundaries limitless – fuzzy garage rock; acoustic revelry; piano-led anthems; atmospheric instrumentals; bedroom pop – all of which fed into their first two EPs: 2009’s The Mini EP and 2010’s At the Mercy of the Elements.

This confident fluidity translated to the stage, where Big Scary swiftly proved themselves a little band with big live presence; and to the studio, leading them to ambitiously record four seasonally themed EPs, later compiled as The Four Seasons, a vibrant, eclectic 13-track showcase of the band’s burgeoning skill and songcraft.

Together, they’ve cultivated a dedicated following and a community of like-minded musicians, played countless sold out tours and the nation’s finest festivals, with a catalogue that’s earned several ARIA, AIR and J Award nominations, Hottest 100 entries, and the prestigious Australian Music Prize (for their 2013 album Not Art). 

It’s not style or a particular sound that defines Big Scary, but rather the dynamic synergy between Tom and Jo, and it is this connection that served as inspiration for a great creative outpouring that brought forth both 2021’s Daisy and 2022’s Me and You.

Their very versatility has engendered experimentation, flux and transgression… Big Scary have long defied any limitations


Cyclone Wehner, NME

Big Scary – Real Love (Live at the Brunswick Ballroom)

September 2022 saw the release of Me and You, the fifth album from the duo. This collection saw the pair return to more organic instrumentation. Guitars are back on the menu, with the acoustic returning to the fore (harking back to very early Big Scary days), and the synthesiser, the hero of Daisy, takes a back seat to the grand piano. 

String arrangements create tension or Bacharach-inspired romance. Tom and Jo singing in unison has peppered a sweetness across the record. A creative renewal, it sees the band confidently at ease with their songwriting and recording craft, unfettered by any expectations other than to enjoy the process, together.

Press Highlights

A selection of press coverage from our most recent publicity campaigns.

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