Album Review: Slow Pulp – ‘Moveys’

Posted: by The Editor

Moveys greatest strength is in its simplicity. Its ten tracks clock in at a mere 26 minutes, meaning virtually none of them drag on for longer than they should. They circumnavigated the mistake many musicians make, which is believing that songs need to be lengthy in order to be substantial. The instrumentals are restrained and refined, largely composed of plush, dainty chord arrangements. “Track” is one of the best songs to listen to, as it’s backed by springy, winding hooks. Others, like “New Horse” and “Falling Apart,” are more woozy and foggy, dabbling in slowcore. And as a vocalist, Emily Massey is a talent. With an unfurled, wispy voice, she’s skilled in remaining steady. Her predilection for gradual inclines and miniscule adornments causes her vocal delivery to bear resemblance to Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison. 

Additionally, the songwriting is concise and digestible. The band is skilled in piecing a handful of words together to speak volumes; using just one line to express a sentiment that other artists would likely need a paragraph for. This sparse styling can feel vague at times, which some may consider a drawback. It’s tricky to discern concrete subject matter or who or what any of the songs are about. There’s a track titled Idaho, but the reason it’s named after that state particularly remains hidden. Same goes for the penultimate track “Montana;” for all we know, it could hold immense significance or have been chosen arbitrarily. There’s loads of mystique, but that seems to be the whole point. By eschewing details, Slow Pulp essentially left blank spaces for us to fill in. They’ve made it easier for listeners to follow along and give the lyrics their own personal meanings, not dissimilar from a game of Mad Libs.

Take, for example, this standout quip on “Channel 2:” “your hesitation tells me what was on your mind.” Who’s hesitating? What was on their mind? We don’t know. But the idea is clear – often, communication is nonlinear and nonverbal cues can be indicative of suppressed emotions people are uneasy about expressing. There’s also this line from “Trade It:” “unlearning, but it’s not worth it.” Self-improvement can feel tiring, and considering how much easier it is to reside in bad habits than work to reverse them – it can be tempting to opt for the former instead of the latter.

Slow Pulp’s decision to leave much unstated isn’t better or worse than being verbose – it’s just different. They’d rather let us connect the dots – which is great, so long as you’re up for that.

 Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great / Phenomenal

Bineet Kaur | @hellobineet

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