The Big Moon unveil the intimate journey and creative process that led to the birth of their third studio album, Here Is Everything.
London-hailing indie rockers, The Big Moon have blessed our ears with a spellbinding new record, Here Is Everything. Co-produced with Adam ‘Cecil’ Barlett and Ben Allen, the 11-track collection chronicles the journey of frontwoman, Juliette Jackson, into motherhood.
Formed in 2014, The Big Moon comprises Celia Archer (bass), Fern Ford (drums), Soph Nathan (guitar/vocals) and Juliette Jackson (lead vocals/guitar/songwriting). Join Happy as we chat with the acclaimed group about the making of their third studio record Here Is Everything, their songwriting and production process, the highs and lows of parenthood, and more.
HAPPY: What was the exact moment that you fell in love with music?
SOPH: I don’t think there was a moment. I think it was a slow love story. I’ve always listened to music growing up and wanted to play music, but I remember being like 15 or 16 and going to see Warpaint play. I couldn’t calm down for days. I think it was both the excitement over the bloody music, and desperately wanting to start a band. That’s a very clear moment in my head.
FERN: I think going to see live music for the first time, and it just being so loud. Unless you’ve been to a show, you’ve never heard music that loud anywhere, and it’s such a physical sensation.
HAPPY: Your album, Here Is Everything documents Jules’ experience into motherhood. Was creating this album around it providing a cathartic experience about the changes within yourself?
JULIETTE: Yeah, I think it was cathartic. I wrote songs to process my feelings, as a way of sort of getting things out of my brain, so I don’t have to think about them anymore. So it’s a cathartic feeling when I finish writing a song and I’m like, oh, that’s how I feel. And then I can stop freaking out about it. So yeah, it was cathartic, and it’s strange listening to it back now and hearing how I felt when I was pregnant and before I was a parent. I had no idea what it was going to be like. And I was very like, “why the hell am I having a baby during a pandemic?” Like, this is really stupid. So yeah.
SOPH: It’s cool that there are lots of feelings. Those feelings usually fade, or like, you see them differently once you feel differently. And it’s cool that they’re in songs. So you’re like, that is how I felt in that moment.
CELIA: Yeah, it’s like, pinned.
JULIETTE: My songs often feel like I’m just reading everyone my diary. Sometimes, it’s like, near to feeling embarrassing. But I just sort of swallow that feeling and I’m like, this is what I’m doing now, this is what I’ve decided to do with my feelings. So now everyone knows.
HAPPY: You touch on the highs and lows of parenthood in Daydreaming. It’s a track that doesn’t hold back and shares intimate parts of motherhood. What was the catalyst for wanting to bring these topics to life in such a creative form?
JULIETTE: It’s weird, that song, because I wrote it. And when I wrote it, I thought, oh, this song is about breastfeeding. This is about like, snuggling and sitting on the sofa and having no thoughts in my brain apart from my baby and feeling really in love and blah, blah, blah. But, I kind of looked back on it a few months after I’d written it, and realised it was just a fantasy, because my experience with breastfeeding was really difficult, and not like that at all.
HAPPY: Did you ever imagine that you would create an album during such a momentous experience in your life, let alone capture it in its entirety?
JULIETTE: No. You can’t plan it. Songs kind of come from somewhere that you can’t explain, and you can’t really sit down and decide to write a song about a thing. It sort of just comes out. And then suddenly, you’re like, “oh, these songs are all about this stuff,” and this is the theme, and yeah, it’s more like a diary. It just so happens that the last couple of years of my life, while I’ve been writing, have been specifically about the journey of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. So all came together under this theme.
HAPPY: What was your experience working with your co-producers CECIL and Ben Allen? Did they challenge your songwriting and creative process in a new way?
SOPH: Well, we started the record with Ben Allen, and then we had a break and came back to it and re-worked it, and we then teamed up with CECIL for four of the songs. He engineered our first album, so he’s someone we really trust and really love, so it was really nice to come back to working with him after all this time, and just feel very secure together. And that was a proper co-production with him. But yeah, the songs took on dramatically a new life after the initial recording.
CELIA: Yeah, we produced quite a lot of it ourselves as well at Fern’s house. It was a journey.
HAPPY: What is one track on the album that you hold close to your heart, and why?
JULIETTE: I mean, for me, it’s just all of them. I find it hard to separate them into favourites, because the experience is all one experience, and it feels the most album-y of all of our albums.
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HAPPY: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in songwriting and motherhood?
JULIETTE: The biggest thing I’ve learned in songwriting…I find that the hardest thing about songwriting is just finding courage to finish what you started. Like, its fun to play music and make sounds, and make up things that rhyme, but once you have that, It’s actually so much effort to make it into a song, and do all of that maths to make it sound and feel right, and tell the story that you’re trying to tell. So I guess the lesson I’ve learned is to keep trying…I had a massive crisis of confidence, just because I was exhausted and breastfeeding.
SOPH: But you did great!
HAPPY: You all did great. Incredible teamwork. Thanks so much for your time!
Stream Here Is Everything via Spotify below.
Interviewed by Laura Hughes