3.5 out of 5 stars
Denver’s Big Tell may only be a duo but their nod to minimalism doesn’t come across in their large sound.
Quentin Young handles vocals, acoustic and 12-string guitar, synthesizer and programmed drums, while his bandmate Stacy Liles contributes upright bass. With a revivalist, circus-barker vibe, Big Tell kicks off their new self-titled EP with the track “Don’t Ask If You Don’t Want It Straight.” If Johnny Cash had been “carnie folk” this is a song he would have played by the Tilt-A-Whirl. It may be acoustic music, but it’s beat-centered and Young and Liles make as much choral noise on “City Life” as groups like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros — who make a similar sound but take a dozen folks to do so. It’s bouncy, it’s energetic and fun.