(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Album Review: The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension

By on Friday, 7th April 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

The Big Moon Love in the 4th Dimension album coverThere’s been plenty of buzz around The Big Moon, which comprises Juliette Jackson, Soph Nathann, Celia Archer and Fern Ford, ahead of their debut LP, recorded in London. They’ve toured with fellow alt-rockers VANT and Inheaven, as well as supporting The Maccabees and The Vaccines on tour, and have been releasing solid, engaging tracks since they first came together in 2014. It’s been a long wait for ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, but a worthwhile one. The new record features plenty of the tracks that The Big Moon have released over the past couple of years, including ‘Cupid’, ‘Sucker’ and the more recent ‘Formidable’. It’s the kind of album that’s easy to enjoy for its edgy alt-rock moments, as well as the accessible subject matter of love and relationships in the lyrics.

As you might have come to expect, If you’ve previously heard any of the band’s stuff, you won’t be disappointed by this display of heartfelt pop/rock, produced by a well-oiled machine. There are energetic and brash moments, like on the retro ‘Silent Movie Susie’, and chilled out and easy-going spells such as on the hazy ‘Zeds’, featuring vocal harmonies and a groaning guitar riff. Title track ‘Love In the 4th Dimension’ has the laid-back, confident attitude reminiscent of that of The Last Shadow Puppets’ tracks.

The album begins with ‘Sucker’, which opens with fuzzy guitar before we hear lead singer Juliette Jackson crooning in her distinctive cool and throaty vocals. ‘Sucker’ was first released way, way back in 2015, a time when the UK separating from the EU and the prospect of a wildly coiffed President of the United States were nothing but strange and disconcerting dreams. Like other tracks on the album, ‘Sucker’ tackles the emotions around relationships: “It got darker / Every night / But I wouldn’t change my mind / I’m a sucker for you”, as the title of the album might suggest.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6t3vNfl85E[/youtube]

Another single released from the album, ‘Cupid’, is the oh-so-listenable track that details the oh-so-relatable experience of building something up so much, it’s inevitably not quite going to live up to expectations. It’s as playful as it is bittersweet, with lyrics like, “I’m gonna get this perfectly right / He said, “I’m gonna shoot the perfect bulls-eye” / Draw the arrow back / Steel yourself”. Similar is ‘Happy New Year’, which hits on those feelings of being wistfully aware of growing older and changing, while trying to enjoy the moment. In the chorus, Jackson sings over and over, “I’m never gonna be this young”, hitting on those weird thoughts that we have at the approach of midnight on the 31st of December.

Standout ‘Formidable’ is a bit of a self-affirming powerhouse. The verses are pretty chilled out and steady, before quickly building towards the passionate chorus. Jackson sings, “I am not invisible / I’m on your side / I’ll be formidable”, before almost yelling out, “you let me heal your battle scars”. Supporting someone in time of need and the willingness to be there for them isn’t just a formidable act, it’s an admirable one.

There’s not a song on the album that isn’t likable, and I think it goes to show what a talented group of people can achieve when they have the chance to give time to working on an album rather than rushing to get one put together. All in all, Love in the 4th Dimension is a seriously fun listen. The tracks tie together real emotions and feelings, matched with addictive hooks, simple yet effective lyrics and an obvious love from the band towards the music they play.

9/10

‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, the debut album from The Big Moon, is out today on Startime International / Columbia Records. To read more of TGTF’s past coverage on The Big Moon, go here. Stay tuned for Carrie’s review of the band at SXSW 2017 last month, coming soon to TGTF.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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