Slow Pulp do some reimagining
Art, whether it be a painting, poetry or music, is not always perfect on the first try. Sometimes it demands taking a step back, reevaluating that particular moment in life and starting all over again. With their newest album Moveys, Slow Pulp take on that need to start all over again directly. After the band’s 2019 four-track EP Big Day, which generated some serious buzz on Spotify, the band backtracked and started their album writing process anew.
This Madison, WI bred, Chicago-based band includes Teddy Matthews on drums, Emily Massey on vocals and guitar, Henry Stoehr on guitar as well and Alex Leeds on bass. Massey’s sudden illness played a role in the band’s decision to scrap the original project and start fresh, but it also helped the band to come back to the studio with a newfound sense of purpose. They were ready to reimagine the Slow Pulp sound.
Throughout many different interviews, the band has detailed long list artists that they consider influences. This list ranges from artists like Osees to St. Vincent, and those influences shine within every aspect of Slow Pulp’s sound. The band still manages to muster up a few surprises though; the unmistakable and pure ’90s undertone that recalls bands like K’s Choice, for example. On this project, Slow Pulp successfully modernizes this sound. Moveys is free-flowing and satisfying to the ears in such a way that the first listen will get any listener lost in the band’s effortless musical constructions.
The St. Vincent influence hits right away with the dream-like vocals by Massey on the first song of the album, “New Horse.” Her vocals are so atmospheric, yet balanced against the static that flows through the song midway. The harmony of the acoustic guitar dances beautifully with the vocals, creating a very drifting, flowing feeling.
The album does pick up the momentum at moments with tracks like “Track,” projecting that ’90s style with even a hint of Osees in the drum pattern throughout the song. The same tones make their way into “Channel 2,” which drives a little more aggressively than the rest. “Channel 2” was written by bass player Leeds after their initial EP Big Day was released, and is quite different from the rest of the album. This track, unlike any of the others, features a deep male voice instead of Massey’s, but this other voice maintains the same airy quality.
Another song worth highlighting is “Idaho.” It uses a lovely and soft beat accompanied by beautifully sung melancholic lyrics that manage to provoke a parallel sense of sadness and happiness at the same time. This song plays along the lines of the Big Day EP with some of the same guitar tones and driving drums. Finally, “Montana,” which brings together all the best elements from “New Horse” and “Channel 2.” This track combines Massey’s vocals with the slow pulsing drums, with the whole work all glued together with a vibrant acoustic guitar.
After going back to the drawing board, Slow Pulp truly delivered with their new album Moveys, giving fans a truly creative performance on every track. The album is a combination of so many different tones, with the band taking the sounds of artists that influenced them and making it all their own. Though the songs have lyrics that recall sad moments in the group’s lives, the driving melodic guitar and pulsing drums deliver the sensation of contentment. Moveys as a whole is a mixture of the group’s newly reimagined sound, and their original tones that fans have come to love. The album is undeniably well crafted; it leaves the listener content, yet asking for more.