The Big Moon’s frontwoman Jules Jackson said the band’s debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, is “about being so in love that you feel like you’ve gotten into another dimension or another kind of reality” and “music can transport you to another world in the same way” on our interview with her late last year. Today, Love in the 4th Dimension is finally out in the world (via Columbia Records), and Jules Jackson, Celia Archer, Soph Nathan and Fern Ford have created a piece that truly does take you someplace else. The album plays to all of The Big Moon’s strengths – it features catchy and fun songs filled with intelligent lyrics and a sonic cohesion that is hard to put into words. It is also the kind of album that was designed to sound even better live. Five of the album’s eleven tracks had been previously released by the band on debut EP The Road (“Cupid”, “Sucker”, and “The Road”) or as singles (“Formidable” and “Silent Movie Susie”), so old and new fans get the chance to experience what have become the classics of The Big Moon’s career so far interwoven with the new sounds the band has to offer.
Love in the 4th Dimension kicks off with the new recording of familiar track “Sucker,” which was the last song released before album came out. The song’s new version is slightly more haunting and darker than the one on the EP The Road, with Jackson’s voice having more of an echo and the bass line being more pronounced. Starting the album with a track we know creates a sense of familiarity with the unknown, The Big Moon leads us to its other dimension but start the journey through a familiar path, easing us into it. Not to mention that “Sucker” has The Big Moon’s fingerprint all over it, from witty lyrics, to smashing guitar solos, to Jackson’s short and fun howls at the end of the track, it is a great opener as it introduces you to the essence of The Big Moon.
Watch: “Sucker” – The Big Moon
Next, comes “Pull the Other One”, the first new track we meet. It’s an earworm. Bass and guitar blend on the intro to get you moving from the first few seconds, and it doesn’t take long for you to sing along with Jackson, Archer, and Nathan on the chorus. The song is about seeing right through someone, and lyrics like “I might have other plans, it’s all out of my hands”, “I’d like to let you stay the day but my schedule’s very tight” show Jackson’s clever use of irony and everyday expressions to craft a song that is instantly relatable to everyone.
“Bonfire” is the explosion of energy we had all been waiting for. The chorus says:
We’ll start a bonfire to make the time fly
‘Cause I’m so bored I could burn this whole town
But the song is anything but boring. With great guitar solos, Jackson barking, and fantastic changes of tempo throughout the song, it is one that will always take you by surprise in the best way. It is almost guaranteed that, by the end, you’ll be joining Archer and Nathan on the last chorus and echoing their words: “We’ll find you”.
The last three songs on the album slow things down ever so slightly. The first one of the three, title track “Love in the 4th Dimension”, appropriately starts with the following words:
“Every second of every day of your life brought you to this”
Just like every moment of The Big Moon’s career has brought them to the release of their debut album. Jackson’s lyrics are one of the highlights of this song and of the album itself. In every song, she manages to create a different world with her words and, despite each track belonging to its own universe, her distinct abilities as a lyricist glue everything together. On “Love in the 4th Dimension” it is no different – she establishes the theme of a battle between life on earth versus something out of this world (love), and permeates the track with lines like “the dark matter of your naked body”, “this earthly verse”, “my terrestriality”, “a sculpture human hands could never describe” and “these worldly words would never suffice”. One of the most fascinating things about listening to The Big Moon is the more you listen and pay attention to what is being sung, the more you discover just how well-crafted their music is.
Album closer, “The End”, perfectly describes falling in love but resisting the feeling, or at least trying to do so. The song features a slower melody and it serves more to support and complement Jackson’s story rather than to stand on its own. Jackson sings about acknowledging a change in her feelings but being afraid of being vulnerable with someone new, fearing that this will bring about “the end”, and this is perfectly exemplified in her lyrics:
“Boy I’m afraid I’m falling for you, dig me a hole to crumble into”
“Why should this be happening now, where once I used to bite? My fangs are falling out”
The song and album finish with Jackson repeatedly declaring “I’m melting”, only to reveal that she gave in to her feelings on the album’s closing line:
“I’m melting over you”
And just like that, a brief 40 minutes after we were transported to The Big Moon’s world, we unwillingly land back on Earth, craving to return to where we’ve just come from. However, if one is searching for an even better experience than listening to the album, try catching The Big Moon live – not only are they exceptional and will have you enthralled and in awe from start to finish, but Love in the 4th Dimension promises to be even better in person than it is through your headphones. When we talked last year, Jackson said “I would just really hope that we have made an album that people can really love and take to their hearts” – well, she can rest assured, because The Big Moon did just that.
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