FFO: Cortney Dixon – Big Deal | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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South Shields artist Cortney Dixon (who, it’s definitely worth a mention, had a song featured on the last ever episode of Neighbours) releases her brand new single Big Deal. It’s a big, bouncing fuzzed-up guitar-driven, indie banger with polished, pop sensibilities and scintillating Summer vibes. Cortney’s vocal embellishes the song’s sonic texture as it satisfyingly flits from angelic harmonies to raw, rocky rasps. 

Here, Cortney tries to encapsulate its sound with three tracks by other artists…

PJ Harvey – Big Exit

I was introduced to PJ Harvey’s album Stories from the city, stories from the sea when I was 16 and it blew my mind. I thought she was amazing and her whole attitude to creating her sound was so raw and real. That’s the direction I wanted to head in but it took me a while to get there. My favourite song off that album was Big Exit and was a huge inspiration for Big Deal, in fact, I used it as a reference track when producing it with John Martindale. I loved how the whole focus was around the jangly, yet gritty guitars and punk-like vocals. Although the drums feel like they absolutely smash, they don’t take over. It was a bit of a breakthrough for my sound when I realised my guitar and vocals should be the main focus point since that’s how my songs are written and everything else should support those two elements.

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

 This probably seems like a bit of a random pick as genre-wise, it’s quite far away from ‘Big Deal’, but I was totally obsessed with that whole entire album for about two years, and this particular song really inspired me to write Big Deal. I loved how unconventional the songwriting is.

I was strumming around on two simple chords on my electric guitar one day and came up with the chorus hook. I liked it but musically it was very simple and I wanted to make it more interesting. I loved how Bon Iver makes his vocals sound really thick with vocoders. I got a vocoder plug in and recorded a harmony using it and it sounded really emotive. Another thing I love about 33 “God” is how much the drums have been affected and messed with. It inspired me to do the same. I programmed a really simple beat and then put a delay on it to give it a cool pattern that you wouldn’t instinctively think to play.

The Vaccines – If You Wanna

What can I say about this song other than it is an absolute banger?! It takes me back to house parties when I was at school and everyone would just be bouncing around the kitchen singing this song. I love everything about this song. I love how on beat the drums are, I love how simple it is and I love how catchy it is. This is how I wanted the end of Big Deal to feel. I wanted to create an ending that people at a house party could jump around the kitchen singing with their pals!

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