Photography by Isaac Watson

George Ward
George Ward

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Can be found at the Grain Barge, Rough Trade or in his tiny basement bedroom writing for CLUNK.

Black Country duo Big Special share new single ‘THIS HERE AIN’T WATER’, an emotional, versatile and hard-hitting track

As ‘THIS HERE AIN’T WATER’ begins, I doubt you’ll be able to tell where it’s going to go. Howling bluesy vocals, reminiscent of The Black Keys, burst in, backed only by very sparse drums and guitars. Very soon, things take a darker direction. 

The drums open up, taking control, while a synth bass begins to roar under the mix. Joe Hicklin’s vocals turn from soul to hip-hop, channelling The Streets as he dives into confident but never showy verses. 

The duo describe the track as an “inward sermon” and it’s not hard to see why. The spoken vocals feel spoken by a preacher, spreading a message of deep personal importance. When these verses are broken by the soulful choruses, you’re left excited to see where they will next come back in.

The instrumental is stripped back, leaving only the bare essentials. The production is perfect, leaving space for Hicklin’s vocals but always keeping our attention with phasey synths and pounding drums. 

Watch/Listen to ‘THIS HERE AIN’T WATER’ here:

Catch Big Special at the following: 

Moth Club, London (w/ Soul Glo) – 21st June

Clwb Ifor Bach (w/ Soul Glo) – 22nd June

2000 TREES FEST, Cheltenham – 7th July

Village Underground, London (w/ Creep Show) – 25th July

Multitude at The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes – 5th August