Kevin Hockaday “Big Mouth Small Brain”

Percussive pulsations guide us into the thick bands of bass tonality that beset all sides of the new single from Kevin Hockaday, “Big Mouth Small Brain,” but as we’ll soon discover amidst the ebb and flow of rhythm and inelegant grooving that this song has to offer us, devastatingly handsome beats are but one trick that Hockaday has up his sleeve for us here. “Big Mouth Small Brain” explores sonic territory that other songs would just as soon avoid, mostly to save face for whatever less than erudite composer is responsible for helming the artistic expedition, and while it doesn’t necessarily tell us anything that we didn’t already know about Kevin Hockaday from listening to his 2019 extended play Night of the Dream People (a record I highly recommend listening to if you didn’t already catch it last year), it absolutely establishes him as a consistent player in an ever-eclectic scene. In a nutshell, this is EDM for grownups, but you don’t need to have an extensive background with the genre to appreciate the maturity behind the melodies in this track.


Almost everything in “Big Mouth Small Brain” is built on the back of the bassline, alluding to a strong DnB influence on the groove, but I don’t think you could call this one of the heavier singles to make headlines this month. If anything, the weight of the bass is brilliantly balanced out by the muscularity of this arrangement, which is undeniably one of the bigger grinds Hockaday has undertaken in his short time in the spotlight.

There’s nothing overwhelming about the construction of the musical release here – as short and sweet as it incontrovertibly is – and personally I can see where this single could appeal as much to electronic dance music connoisseurs as it would experimental ambient fans that are looking for something to get lost in. “Big Mouth Small Brain” is an exercise in cerebral conceptualism, and though it isn’t the first song of its kind to break new ground with listeners in 2020, it’s one of the few tracks I would describe as being both progressive and respectful of aesthetical tradition at the same time.


I hadn’t given Kevin Hockaday’s music a very close listen prior to getting my hands on a pre-release copy of “Big Mouth Small Brain” through a colleague just this past weekend, but I must say that I plan on keeping a close eye on him from this moment forward on the strength of what he’s showing off here. If I were in his shoes, I would develop this current sound around a surrealism-centric model, if for no other reason than to make the most of the psychedelic underpinnings he’s so audibly capable of manipulating in this latest release. There’s still a lot of untapped potential for him to dig into in his first full-length studio album, and with any luck, what we discover in “Big Mouth Small Brain” will act as a mere sampling of what that record will ultimately be comprised of.

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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