It’s sitting there, staring straight into my face: a walking metaphor. A metaphor about this band striding forward from their debut into new and improved territory. Walking along the catwalk with confidence, walking into the future with a pomp and a splendour. That metaphor, it’s sitting there, waiting for me to bite and to use it. And I will. I will bite, because it’s true.
Following a successful debut, The Big Moon have refused to stand still. Instead, they’re strutting forward and demonstrating a desire to shake things up before they go stale. The result, Walking Like We Do, is a well-produced, euphoric pop album that sees The Big Moon mature and grow as a band, and shows Juliette Jackson’s talent as a lyricist, as she begins to look outwards as well as inwards.
Their debut, Love In The Fourth Dimension, received well-deserved critical acclaim, including a Mercury Prize nomination. However, the instrumentation was simplistic, minimalistic and guitar-centric; the band knew something needed to change on their sophomore LP. Pushing the intricate melodies and grunge-inspired sound aside, Walking Like We Do sees the piano and keyboard take centre stage—alongside a side helping of flutes and trumpets—as The Big Moon move towards a pop sound, reminiscent of the 80s.
Most songs open with a twinkling of the ivories, whilst chirpy synth lines provide the hooks to lift the choruses. There’s a newfound versatility to the band, and a relentless positivity throughout. It’s well-balanced, though, there’s a good mix between the slower, ballad-like numbers and the shameless pop bops. Even the slow numbers have a summery, uplifting feel due to the synth though, whilst the handful of anthemic tracks are driven forward by whirring guitar riffs, ‘Don’t Think’—the album’s highlight—exemplifying this to a tee.
The relentless positivity turns the album into a bit of a jigsaw. As, despite the upbeat sounds, the lyrics, in contrast, are often a little more serious. There’s the usual offering of romantic tales and indulgent love songs, but Juliette Jackson also looks outwards into the world for inspiration: ‘It’s Easy Then’ discusses the growing anxiety across the planet today; ‘Your Light’ is about every generation thinking the world is going to end; ‘Dog Eat Dog’ was inspired by the Grenfell tragedy and the disgraceful reaction from the government; meanwhile ‘Holy Roller’ explores the phenomena of religion, Jackson creating her own in a matter of minutes. These songs are balanced out by more personal numbers, covering topics such as going through a quarter-life crisis, growing up, moving on and falling in love with strangers at festivals.
The vast array of themes covered alongside the sonic developments demonstrates Jackson’s quality as a songwriter and The Big Moon’s quality as a band. Walking Like We Do shows a new side to The Big Moon and only increases excitement for what they have in store in the future.
Haiku Review Quarter-life crisis, The Big Moon take one huge leap, Refuse to stand still,