The Big Moon have announced the release of their third album ‘Here Is Everything’ and shared their first single, ‘Wide Eyes’. Check it out below alongside an interview with the band.
Written over the course of the last couple of years, the new record captures a period of intense change, both for the world at large and principal songwriter Juliette Jackson – as the band explained. Since the four-piece released their Top 20-charting second album ‘Walking Like We Do’, the singer and guitarist has become a mother, giving birth to a son last year.
“I feel like so many things have changed for everyone,” Jackson said NME. “Collectively, there’s been a pandemic and everyone’s reeling from that. No one has closure or guidance or knows what to do. And also personally, I’ve been through a massive change in my life and become a mum. ”
The album pulls from both of those strands, but is largely a document of the frontwoman’s journey through pregnancy. Most of the songs on it were written before she gave birth, with four more – including the new single ‘Wide Eyes’ – penned six months later.
“So much of the album I wrote while I was pregnant and basically just wondering what the hell this was going to be like,” she explained. “When I listen to it now, I can hear myself saying all these things and having all these anxieties. Those songs are a bit more floaty and just thinking about things and the songs I wrote after are more like the reality of extreme highs and extreme lows and the whole hormonal madness. ”
‘Wide Eyes’ – a glittering, emotional and skyscraping ode to companionship and love – came at a time when Jackson was struggling to write. “I was a mess but I also felt this new kind of happiness that I’ve never felt before,” she said. “I felt like I just needed to write about it.”
Teaming up with songwriter Jessica Winter, the pair turned Jackson’s ideas into “a snapshot of insane, blissed-out, hormonal joy”: “I was just having absolutely huge feelings and I needed to write a huge song about it.”
The album’s title is similarly colossal – ‘Here Is Everything’. It’s a moniker Jackson said felt necessary for the record because of the mammoth experiences it documents: “I couldn’t have given any more to this album really.”
The artwork too – shot by photographer Pooneh Ghana – captures the enormity of what was about to happen in her life. On the cover, the musician kneels on a bed, pregnant belly on display – a Beyoncé moment for the indie star. Empowering as the image may be, the singer had her reservations about that photo being put on the sleeve at first.
“I felt like I needed to be very brave for that to be the album cover,” she said. “I just felt really exposed. Beyoncé is Beyoncé, but I’m just me and it takes a lot of confidence to just be there with all your skin out and be pregnant. It took a while to get used to the idea and then, when I did, I loved it. ”
When the musician took the songs she’d been working on to her bandmates, they were “amazed”. Drummer Fern Ford and bassist Celia Archer (guitarist Soph Nathan is absent from our interview) said they were struggling to stay optimistic about the future of the band – or the world – during the pandemic. “The whole world felt like it was over,” said Archer. “Fern and I did a very similar thing of being like, ‘Let’s go get other jobs or do other things because we can’t rely on this’.”
Ford added: “I couldn’t believe Jules was able to seemingly whip these songs up, and then she goes and has a baby, doesn’t speak for months and then is like, ‘OK, here’s four more!’ It was really impressive. ”
At the time, Jackson didn’t feel like she was doing anything impressive, though, her head and body shaken up by the act of growing new life. “I was so tired and exhausted, hormonal and just breastfeeding like crazy, I just couldn’t believe I would ever do anything creative again or that I would do anything worthwhile,” she said.
Becoming a mum has made Jackson reconsider her role not just in life, but as a musician too. Now, being in the band feels like even more her own thing, removed from her home life. “It’s really wonderful that I’ve been able to come back from going through that journey and come back to something that feels like it’s really mine,” she said. “Some of my friends who are parents have found it really hard to go back to work or what they used to do – sometimes you take a year off for maternity leave and you come back to your life and you’re like,‘ What is this? What’s the point of all this? ‘”
‘Here Is Everything’ could have been very different. The Big Moon had an album ready to go in spring 2021 and were setting the wheels in motion to launch it, but something was off. “The idea was originally to get it out before Jules had the baby,” Archer explained. “We were about to shoot the video for the first single and decided to put the brakes on and give it some breathing space.”
When they returned to the record, they did so in a way that took things back to the very basic ingredients of the band – no outside producers, no expensive studios putting time constraints on their work, just the four members in the Ford studio built in her spare room. “We all have different skills we can bring to the table so we returned to the four of us and opened up these tracks and went,‘ What does this song need? ’” Archer said. “We didn’t think about anything else – where it would sit on the album, if it was going to be a single. Now it’s a really special album for us – I can hear everyone’s individual fingerprints on every part of it. ”
In September, the band will finally get back on the road for a headline tour that has been rescheduled several times and includes some of their biggest shows to date. “We’re so excited – some of the new songs on the album, when I listen to them and imagine we’re going to play them live, I just cry,” laughed Archer. “My only hesitation is we’ve been here before – once it’s happening I’ll be really happy.”
The Big Moon release ‘Here Is Everything’ on October 14 via Fiction Records. Pre-order it here.
The band’s upcoming tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more info.
17 – Finsbury Park, London (w / George Ezra)
22 – Ventnor Fringe, Isle of Wight
23 – Truck Festival, Oxfordshire
24 – Leopallooza, Cornwall
29 – Kendal Calling, Cumbria
30 – Underneath The Stars, Yorkshire
31 – Y Not Festival, Derbyshire
19 – The Leadmill, Sheffield
20 – Concorde 2, Brighton
21 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
23 September – Oran Mor, Glasgow
24 September – Newcastle University
25 September – Academy 2, Manchester
September 27 – Tramshed, Cardiff
28 September – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London