London-based four piece The Big Moon released their debut album in 2017 and were promptly nominated for a Mercury Prize. They took their guitar based indie songs on the road to the US in support of Marika Hackman, while also acting as her backing band. This period where they played two sets a night saw drummer Fern Ford collapse from exhaustion during a soundcheck. It’s a testament to the passion and ethos of the band that they didn’t slow down.
All of the songs on The Big Moon’s sophomore album Walking Like We Do were again penned by singer Juliette Jackson. Instead of being road tested for years, these tunes were fleshed out in producer Ben Allen’s (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley) studio in Atlanta, Georgia. The process saw the band go from being a ‘plug and play’ type of outfit, to one that has a greater understanding of the dynamics and harmony of each tune.
It’s Easy Then signals a more mature approach to songwriting for Jackson. It reflects on the more complex nature and prevailing sense of doom that comes with the lack of leadership from those in power. Jackson’s voice is a more refined instrument that was shown on the band’s debut. The additional focus on harmonies from the other band members ensures that the hooks are more memorable this time around.
Keyboards are used liberally throughout to give songs like first single Your Light a more danceable feel. The keyboard introduction of Why sounds like the introduction to a true crime podcast, yet is another example of The Big Moon using sounds that would have been previously been thought foreign. The drum sounds are more varied with a bigger focus on creating grooves rather than singular propulsion.
The Big Moon may have lost some of the crunchy guitars that was their trademark, but have surfaced all the better for it. They may not have increased their volume, but they have generated a record that is bigger and more spacious than expected. Walking Like We Do is a solid evolution worthy of repeated listens.