Music

Chicago’s Slow Pulp Takes You to the ‘Moveys’ on Their Long-Awaited Debut

Photo by Alec Basse

The buzz on Slow Pulp reached me via friends before their traditional publicity push, and the snippets I heard excited me, but none of that could have prepared me for how excellent the album is as a whole. It took the band three years to release their debut, and Moveys is actually the result of scrapping their initial debut, just before the pandemic hit, so Moveys is a rare piece of work that feels fully informed by both pre- and post-lockdown life.

Slow Pulp keeps it slow at the start, but that’s to lull you as the Venus flytrap of their music slowly closes around you, snapping shut on the third song as the volume and tension builds, meaning you’ve completely given yourself over to the band by the middle of the album, as things from a subterranean crawl into high gear.

You’re now rockin’ on Slow Pulp’s terms, completely.

Emily Massey’s vocals are the band’s most obvious advantage over similar sounding groups, mining emotional depths with a melodic mindset while carefully weaving around each instrumental part to fit into the whole with powerful effects. It’s a heavy album to listen to, even if its sonics aren’t pushed into the red at any time. But when the band does open up, as on mid-album track “At It Again,” it provides a driving release that fills you with hope, even if Massey’s lyrics are focused on a recurring state of depression. The possibility unleashed by framing the messaging in such an accessible context simultaneously allows you to relate to the song’s protagonist while marveling at Slow Pulp’s ability to turn something that could’ve been inwardly withdrawn navel-gazing into an exercise of writing yourself out of an unhealthy mindset.

At 26 minutes Moveys won’t take up a lot of your time at first, but be prepared to keep thinking about it and returning to the album for multiple listens one it has its hooks in you.

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