The Big Moon have a famously ferocious work ethic. Two albums in three years under their own name, coupled with frenzied international touring, and a collaboration with Marika Hackman meant that the band rarely, if ever, had a day off. But then came the pandemic, and then came lockdown. A period of recuperation and re-entrenchment followed, before singer Jules Jackson emerged from the final aspect of the pandemic with another life-changing event – motherhood.
All of these factors and more lead into new album ‘Here Is Everything’ which – and here comes the bold top-line of this review – is The Big Moon’s finest, most fully realised album yet. Pushing their sound to new places, it’s able to move from corrosive, blunt, spartan indie rock through to something more lush and rounded, all while maintaining a certain narrative unity. The work of a band operating with supreme confidence, ‘Here Is Everything’ is a bold marker, and proof that all that hard work really has paid off.
Opener ‘2 Lines’ picks up where we left off – an impeccable indie rock banger, it taps into The Big Moon’s formidable sound, while elevating it somewhat. Brooding of vocal, spacious of arrangement, it puts you in mind of PJ Harvey’s post-Millennial work, matching the pain with the glamour. ‘Wide Eyes’ feels much broader in turn, with Jules singing “I got nothing to hide…”
‘Daydreaming’ is a cute piece of alt-pop, reminiscent of Metronomy but with a little more bite and venom in the mixture. ‘This Love’ has a country hop, while ‘My Very Best’ with its radar-sweep guitar lines, is a little reminiscent of Interpol.
The urgent ‘Trouble’ kicks off the album’s final third, as close as we get on this record to The Big Moon’s live heft. In turn, ‘High And Low’ is a beautiful torch song, it’s pained vocal – “I’m too tired, I’m too tired” – offering a moment of intense communion. ‘Magic’ pivots gleefully into 80s style pop, before closer ‘Satellites’ ends on a beautifully pensive note, the half-spoken vocal supported by those cloud-soft harmonies.
A revealing, continually powerful set of songs, ‘Here Is Everything’ is a fantastically engaging experience, arguably the strongest set The Big Moon have placed their name against. An enveloping song cycle, it’s a record packed with detail and emotion.
Words: Robin Murray