Right now, The Big Moon are unstoppable. A meteoric rise (pardon the pun) has seen them go from unknowns to the forefront of British indie in less than two years and, on the verge of their debut album, their unrivalled and continued success is yet to be paused. If anything Love in the 4th Dimension signals the start of something even bigger: they’ll be amongst the stars soon.
Fading up from the darkness and greeting us like an old friend, ‘Sucker’ opens the album with a solo, scuzzy-acoustic guitar and gradually swells into a fully-formed, familiar sucker punch (again, sorry). It’s a genius introduction to Love in the 4th Dimension, toeing the line between routine and innovative by re-recording their very first single from way back in 2015.
Next comes ‘Pull the Other One’, and we’re finally acquainted with album-era The Big Moon – even bigger choruses, beautiful harmonies and dirty guitars, all gleefully misshapen to fit the band’s collective vision. Mistakes and oddball touches (vocals singing along to guitar solos, raspberries in place of drum rolls) are littered across the album helping to capture and crystallise the rush of a new relationship, whether romantic or platonic. Recorded in only 12 days the album feels like it’s been committed to record in their most primal form, the band so desperate to document a feeling that sacrifices have been made. There’s no doubt it’s a direct effect of where the four-piece find themselves. They’ve sold out Scala, signed a deal with Fiction, supported big names. Love in the 4th Dimension is the band right now: the bond between Jules, Soph, Celia and Fern immortalised in song.
Taking the feral urgency of Britpop (particularly Elastica – am I just being sexist?), and nailing it to enough pop nous to storm onto Radio 1, the songs find their feet twisting common-day pop songs into something barely recognisable. Album standout ‘Bonfire’ is a glut of filthily intricate riffs, but could easily (ear)worm its way backstage at the Teen Choice Awards and hand out cigarettes. The title track, in a similarly split vein, opens with eerily beautiful harmonies before Celia Archer’s bassline suggests something afoot, and we get a stomping glam-rock homage for a few seconds. It twists again and we’re back in familiar territory. The album makes the most of its runtime and each song could easily fund three more; on a poorer effort, every verse would make a chorus, every riff the centrepiece solo of a track. Witty lyrics take the album even higher, desperately begging to be learnt by rote and shouted back in both bedrooms and muddy fields, and are spread indulgently across the album’s 11 tracks.
Love in the 4th Dimension works as a both a document of their critical period and where they are currently (even if that does mean dedicating almost half the album to previously released material – they’re fucking bangers, find something else to moan about). Whilst it doesn’t technically push boundaries and keeps its focus solely on the present, the band play with such an electrifying dynamic and so playfully tease misfit detours that it’s simply too much fun to pass up. It’ll be on repeat until album two.