Big Crush is the low-fi, bedroom-alt-rock project of Quinn Starkey, who released three singles between 2020 and 2021. Each song elicits a pang of nostalgia, serving as invitations to melancholy. They are emotional and fuzzy homages to 90s rock records akin to Breeders, L7 and Mazzy Star.
“House Plant,” recorded in April 2020, opens with a would-be iconic guitar riff spilling over a compressed drum loop that burrows deeply into a hole of fuzz and reverb.
Breathy, aching vocals create a stark contrast with the heavy guitars.It inspires one to listen closer before a massive wave of distortion smacks you in the face with a classically dressed, post-rock guitar solo. The track is an understated and rational melody, alternately picked with a calm viciousness.
“Moth” begins with a hazy sound, delayed and hissing under a modified effect. As the mysterious sounds fades, a fugue is plucked on an acoustic guitar. The tone and inflection of voice fall somewhere between lonesome Canadiana and introspective punk. Starkey’s natural cadence and subdued timbre is perched firmly upon the simple and elegant structure of this song.
Several months into the pandemic, “Die Clean, Opaque Dreams” is born. A lush and curious whirring gives way to haunting guitars, a deadly beautiful piano and empathetic chords. An anthemic, traditional and intimate song was born. A nostalgic, near-country twang is on one side of the tight-rope, whereas the side to fall offers no-bullshit, grunge-rock.