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The Big Moon - Walking Like We Do (Album Review)

Thursday, 09 January 2020 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Pooneh Ghana

While it’s not quite in the realm of Dylan going electric, the Big Moon’s decision to pare back the guitars on their second LP is a head-turning one. A few years on from picking up a Mercury Prize nomination for their debut, ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, the quartet have ditched that record’s hook-heavy, distorted tangle in favour of clean pop lines and glittering synths.

On ‘Walking Like We Do’ their core values haven’t changed, though. The Big Moon’s music still orbits Jules Jackson’s witty, melodically savvy writing, with the shoots of new love replaced as lyrical inspiration here by an acerbic look at the world around her. “They say it’s dog eat dog,” she sings on Dog Eat Dog, backed by a piano and warbling vocal sample. “But it’s more like pigeon eat fried chicken on the street.”

They might be dressed differently, but these songs will delight those who fell for the Big Moon’s brand of iridescent indie charm the first time around.

They are structurally watertight, and dotted with clever instrumental flourishes like Why’s short, sharp shock of spiky riffage, or Take a Piece’s straight up R&B ballad worship.

With bassist Celia Archer and drummer Fern Ford pulling double duty on synths and samples to back up Jackson and guitarist Soph Nathan’s eye-catching lead lines, they have settled into a new groove that takes a few risks without dropping the ball.

The album’s midpoint is relatively measured, even slow-moving, but repeat listens draw out the levels in Jackson’s melodies. Over time, for example, the initially turgid tiered harmonies on Waves coalesce into a genuine moment of release.

‘Walking Like We Do’ nimbly sidesteps the issues often present on second albums, maintaining existing strengths while trying fresh things that add to the Big Moon’s palette rather than obfuscating what worked on album one. “We don’t know where we’re going, but we’re walking like we do,” Jackson sings on A Hundred Ways to Land. On this evidence, it’s not an idle boast.

The Big Moon Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu February 27 2020 - BRISTOL The Fleece
Fri February 28 2020 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy2 Liverpool
Sat February 29 2020 - EDINBURGH Sumerhall
Mon March 02 2020 - NOTTINGHAM Nottingham Contemporary
Tue March 03 2020 - OXFORD O2 Academy2 Oxford
Wed March 04 2020 - LONDON Oslo

Click here to compare & buy The Big Moon Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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