Akin to light at the end of a tunnel, music pierces the darkness. No matter how desperate life may seem, it supplies hope. Big Gigantic draw light out of an inimitable mélange of impressive instrumentation, cinematic production, propulsive percussion, and, of course, triumphant saxophone. The genre-bending Boulder, CO pair—Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken—uplift once again on their eighth full-length offering, Brighter Future 2. Illuminating audiences like never before, they turn up with 16 instantly irresistible anthems when we need them the most.
“We’re in a long tunnel sometimes,” observed Dominic. “Who knows where the light is? The last few years felt like a freaking decade for most of us. We need to get back to the music. We need positivity. The world needs it. I need it.”
“It’s the theme we’ve searched for as a band for many years in terms of our outlook on life and what we do in our community,” agrees Jeremy. “We’re expanding on the vibe of hopefulness. It’s an evolution. We maintain positivity for the future and its unlimited possibilities. It’s part of the journey, but it’s the next level.”
Dominic adds, “This is Brighter Future 2.”
After emerging in 2009, Big Gigantic first amplified this message on Brighter Future in 2016. It reeled in hundreds of millions of streams independently and touted bangers a la “All of Me” [feat. Logic & ROZES], “The Little Things” [feat. Angela McCluskey], “Highly Possible” [feat. Waka Flocka Flame], “Wide Open” [feat. Cherub], and more. Their music would be utilized by everyone from Apple, Wimbledon, NASCAR, NBA, HBO, and Fox to the trailers for Valerian and Dirty Grandpa. They’ve ignited the bills of Coachella, Lollapalooza, ULTRA Music Festival, Hangout Music Festival, Electric Forest, and Bonnaroo. Plus, they headline and consistently sell out their own Rowdytown at Red Rocks Amphitheatre—now in its 10th year for 2022. Putting their words into action, they run the 501(c)3 A Big Gigantic Difference Foundation, which supports non-profits for at-risk youth, music education, and more. Thus far, they have raised $1 million-plus for charity.
In the midst of the Global Pandemic, they continued to create, pushing forward towards what would become Brighter Future 2.
“When it seemed like we were coming out of this whole thing, it felt appropriate to aim for the idea of Brighter Future 2,” Jeremy goes on. “It was a sign of the times.”
They kick off this next chapter with the single “Open Your Mind” [feat. GRiZ]. On the track, a guitar-laden island groove gives way to a rush of bass-y synths as the hook takes hold, “Open your mind and look within. That’s the way you’re living,” before an evocative saxophone solo. It continues a long history of collaborations with GRiZ, spanning fan favorites “Daily Routine,” “Power,” “Good Times Roll,” and “C’mon.”
“GRiZ is an absolute monster in the studio,” says Jeremy. “He took the idea and brought it to another level sonically with a lot of cool bass. Even though it’s a heavy song, it’s in line with what we’re about.”
Then, there’s “Déjà vu” [feat. Kota The Friend]. The glitchy lo-fi beat brushes up against dynamic and deliberate rhymes from Kota The Friend before dissolving into a chill outro punctuated by bass and guitar.
“It’s called ‘Déjà vu’, and the album is Brighter Future 2,” notes Dom. “We’ve been here before. It’s a refresh.”
The dancefloor-ready “Keep On Rising” [feat. Aloe Blacc] rides neon keys and a head-nodding bounce towards a rapturous refrain. Aloe Blacc’s instantly recognizable vocals immediately enchant with soul, style, spirit, and the right amount of falsetto as he assures, “We gonna keep on rising, to the top.”
“We told Aloe our vision, and he came back with these beautiful vocals,” Dom elaborates. “Keep on rising, grinding, working, getting better, and rising to the top. It’s so perfect.”
On the other end of the spectrum, throwback production and boisterous horns power “Just The Same” [feat. Vic Mensa & Mick Jenkins]. These two Chicago spitters unite and share their own inspiring come-up stories.
“It’s a feel-good hip-hop track,” Jeremy goes on. “It’s part of the album’s larger narrative.”
A heavenly soundscape underpins “Losing My Mind” [feat. Brooke Williams] as the blissful vocals belie a deeper meaning.
“It seems happy and beautiful, but it’s lyrically rather sad,” Dom reveals. “It goes in a different direction than you might expect.”
Fittingly, Brighter Future 2 commences with a few words from its predecessor, representing a full circle moment.
“I’m reading this passage I wrote about Brighter Future back in 2016 out loud,” states Dom. “It was the perfect way to set up the album. It picks up where we left off on ‘Odyssey Pt. 1’, making ‘Love Like This’ technically ‘Odyssey Pt. 2’. There’s a connection between the two albums straight away.”
Like any sequel worth its salt, Brighter Future 2 ultimately doubles the impact and inspiration.
“Big Gigantic is everything to us,” Jeremy leaves off. “It’s been our lives since 2008. We not only get to play music, but people come out and spread a positive message. We’re helping the community and making others feel good.”
“This is about community and unity,” Dom concludes. “It’s not exclusive; it’s inclusive of everybody and all styles of music. When we first began doing electronic music with instruments, it wasn’t typical. The world has opened up. This is about bringing good energy. Hopefully, we can make a brighter future for ourselves, families, friends, and the world around us.”