ALBUM REVIEW: The Big Moon - Here Is Everything
Indie quartet The Big Moon are back and are clearly very happy to be so. There new record 'Here Is Everything' is a joyous, heartening album that lives up to its title; as if the band are telling us everything that they have experienced the in past 2 years.
Formed in London in 2014 by lead singer and guitarist Juliette Jackson, they released their debut album 'Love in the 4th Dimension' in 2017, and it went on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize. 2020’s 'Walking Like We Do' saw the band switch up their sound with a slightly more polished but nonetheless captivating record. So, it comes as no surprise that their third record is even more developed.
They started work on this new project in early 2021, but decided to delay because of Jackson’s pregnancy, which makes a fascinating listening experience, as you can hear the ‘befores’ and ‘afters’ of giving birth, being a new mother, and some of the anxieties that come along with it. Opening with '2 Lines', a chugging foot-stomper, the track explores the theme of change, or perhaps lack thereof. “Nothing’s changed, nothing feels the same” Juliette Jackson sings during the chorus. The titular "2 lines" being those on a postitive pregnancy test, an lyrical image that sets up the rest of the album perfectly.
A running theme on the album is motherhood, as well as new life, which is why the songs are dusted with hope and optimism, even though they were curated during a time when it was obviously hard to find those feelings in the world. Lyrically, the songs are as frank and honest as ever. Sometimes, Jackson is clearly addressing her baby, sometimes herself, and on other tracks, no one in particular. On 'Daydreaming', it could be all three. In the song, she confesses how things she used to care about seem insignificant now, over the top of a tinkly, dream-like riff from guitarist Soph Nathan.
Lead single 'Wide Eyes' is uplifting and glorious, lyrically ambiguous at times but never too difficult to decipher. With their trademark guitars and sparkling synths, it’s an obvious standout on the record. 'Sucker Punch' and 'Trouble' feel quintessentially Big Moon, the former echoing the melody of 'Holy Roller' from their previous record, slightly sinister, with a spacious chorus. "I guess I could still be surprised” the band ponder. 'Trouble' is one of the faster songs on the album, opening with the very solid rhythm section (hats off to bassist Celia Archer and drummer Fern Ford) and leading to an absolute corker of a chorus that springs out of nowhere. “Every time I remember, something is a little less true” Jackson sings, lamenting on how your memory can play tricks on you.
The record has two clear highlights, one of them being 'My Very Best', a gorgeous song that starts softly and builds beautifully. Sonically, it’s dreamy and sparkling, and you can hear all four of the band members shine throughout. Jackson seems to be speaking to her son; “you’re born into this mess, if I do my worst, if I do my very best” she draws out. The outro is swirling and bewitching, and it wouldn’t sound out of place on a U2 track. 'Ladye Bay' is also arresting, and a whirlwind of a song. Opening with acoustic guitar and prominent bass, it’s akin to Arctic Monkey's 'Cornerstone' by Arctic Monkeys. The lyrics are amusing at times, touching on how fast time moves, and will make you smile in recognition.
Choruses are definitely an area where the foursome excel on this record, each one executed perfectly, and you will find yourself humming the melodies after listening.
'Satellites' serves as a superb album closer, a slower number, laden with piano. The track is reminiscent of Wolf Alice’s 'The Last Man on Earth' and creates an atmosphere that makes you feel like a satellite whilst listening, orbiting with no destination.
'Here Is Everything' is a career highlight for The Big Moon. The album sees the band give us (nearly) everything they have to offer, leaving just enough room for us to crave another!