When I heard that Joe Herrmann was interviewing The Big Moon for Cool Brother (a magazine I occasionally write for) last month, I was horribly jealous. After seeing them supporting The Vaccines last year, I followed their Instagram (which is very funny, by the way), listened to all their music, and generally longed for a debut album. And then I heard it was on its way, and I became excited. Very excited.
There’s always the risk that an album won’t live up to your expectations after such a long wait. Fortunately, The Big Moon haven’t disappointed with Love In The 4th Dimension, their unapologetically indie debut. Had this album been released back in the indie revolution of the noughties (it was a revolution and I won’t hear that it wasn’t), it would have made it straight into the charts. If The Kooks’ terrible third album Junk of the Heart can reach Number 10, I can only wonder what Love In The 4th Dimension could have done—and from what I’ve read so far, the critics seem to agree.
Every song on this thing is riddled with a fun, indie pop sensibility, and the humour of their Instagram has found its way into the lyrics. Occasionally, moments of quiet melancholy sneak into Juliet Jackson’s lyrics—specifically, during the chorus of ‘Silent Movie Susan’—but the album as a whole feels like that sensation you get in your stomach when someone you fancy comes to talk to you at a party. This is best exemplified by the chorus of the album’s final number, fittingly (though perhaps not so originally) entitled ‘The End’: ‘Before the days were so long, I know/But now those days are long gone, I know/And it freaks me out, I just don’t know what to do’.
From the main album, ‘Zeds’ is my favourite. The lyrics make me smile both in their quaint privacy and how perfectly observational they are in describing falling in love (‘I open books and just stare at the words, night after night’). The chorus is extremely satisfying, and reeks of Arctic Monkey’s AM; and it certainly sounds like The Big Moon had recently listened to Humbug when they wrote ‘Hold This’, the first bonus track on the record. Indeed, all the bonus tracks have a distinct Arctic Monkeys sound to them, whether intentionally or not. But other influences sneak through on this record, too: ‘Formidable’ is reminiscent of Cherry Glazerr, and the last few bars of ‘Bonfire’ remind me of September Girls (though much less droney).
There are few songs on this thing I dislike—for an album with 15 tracks (including bonuses), there’s not a lot of filler. ‘The Road’ doesn’t do all that much for me, but inoffensively; ‘Euraka Moment’, too, doesn’t add much to what is already a great album (but it’s a bonus track, so I suppose it’s not meant to). Apart from that, there’s not that much bad to say about this album. The lyrical content is funny, and at times poetic; the production is clear, especially on the vocals; the instrumentation is accomplished if simple, and more importantly, bloody good fun. I may have had to wait absolutely ages for this thing, but it didn’t disappoint. It’s an album to get nostalgic to in the sun at the park, with your mates, drinking lager and reminiscing about being sixteen. Let’s hope the good weather holds out.
If you click this link and buy the new The Big Moon album, I get some money. And that’d be awesome.