‘Walking Like We Do’ presents a sense of musical fearlessness from The Big Moon. Lyrically defined and musically characteristic, it is an emotionally provocative, empowering listening experience.
There is a sense of ambition from the outset. ‘It’s Easy Then’ is as hypnotic as it is melodic. Drum and piano chime in unison as Juliette Jackson’s instantly recognisable vocals are reintroduced. Pointed and (darker), it represents the band’s musical evolution. If 'Love in the 4th Dimension' was a collection of joyous love songs then their second outing is far more of an emotive passage.
Take ‘Dog Eat Dog’ for example. Clever imagery emphasises a sense of youthful disengagement. The top down hierarchy of capitalism is defined as: “It’s more like pigeon eating fried chicken on the street,” which might just be one of music’s greatest similes. In spite of this, the London based band have captured the reality of societal injustice proficiently. They suggest that urban life is isolating, that one’s actions are inconsequential in the grand scheme of reality.
'Walking Like We Do' is both mature and reflective. There is less of a reliance on grunge-inspired guitar and joyous harmonies. Piano and keyboard instead lead an album conceived through years of touring experience. 'Love in the 4th Dimension' was a Mercury Prize nominated album, for good reason. With this comes expectation to deliver again, but The Big Moon refuse to stand still. As Jackson has said of the project: “While we still wanted it to have energy and all the right feelings, we just wanted to be more creative with how you conjure a mood.”
This collection of songs take far deeper meaning. They constantly reference life’s relentlessness. ‘Why’ questions the longevity of love. From the early perfections of a relationship’s honeymoon period comes uncertainty and crossroads. ‘Waves’ builds on this, with its reflective air and exceptional lyricism. How does one react to the collapse of eternal love? In many ways, tracks such as these act as the thematic antithesis to fan favourites such as ‘Sucker’ and ‘Cupid.’
However, in such uncertainty comes release. There is an overbearing sense of hope and empowerment throughout the album. ‘Holy Roller’ traverses the negatives of modern life (porno sites, contour kits, payday loans, etc), its chorus offers joy in the face of emptiness. ‘A Hundred Ways To Land’ is the album’s greatest act of resilience. “When the leaves drop down It doesn’t mean the trees are dead” will echo through a listeners mind with every listen. It is this unparalleled hopefulness which will define the album in years to come.
In thirty years time we will look back at Walking Like We Do as a true reflection of youth in the 2020s. By considering themes such as love, social injustice and all round perseverance, it is both mature and engaging. The Big Moon are constantly breathing new life into a genre which sometimes runs stale. For that we should be eternally grateful.
Words: Charlie Barnes
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