Slow Pulp – ‘Moveys’

By Tom Walsh

By Slow Pulp’s own admission, ‘Moveys’ is a made-up word. An in-joke that can be interpreted however you wish. It can be an instance of wilful abandon, the starting gun to free your inhibitions, or something that just implores you to dance. For the Chicago four-piece, it also represents the end of a journey.

‘Moveys’ is the debut LP from Slow Pulp, and has been an intense labour of love that’s survived through personal tragedy, illness, and a seemingly never-ending pandemic. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix of genres lurching between a sound reminiscent of Pixies, ‘Blue’ album-era Weezer, and more contemporary outfits such as Diet Cig.

All of this is strung together with the delicate, wispy vocals of Emily Massey that punctuate the lo-fi indie atmosphere. The record captures the struggles of waking up not knowing which level of calamity will occur, pieced together with punchy guitar riffs, grunge rhythms and, at times, an almost psychedelic rock vibe.

There is a real contrast in styles throughout ‘Moveys’. The subtlety of a song like ‘Idaho’, which brings together delicate riffs with Massey’s meandering vocal range, is mirrored in the effortlessly dreamy ‘Track’, while the likes of ‘Trade It’ – reminiscent of the stripped back emo sounds of the late-90s – and ‘Montana’ place a lump in your throat with their beautiful nature; the latter’s inclusion of a harmonica is a wonderful touch.

Adding in an instrumental piano track in the form of ‘Whispers (In The Outfield)’, played by Michael Massey, demonstrates Slow Pulp’s intention to not stick to one simple formula. The record concludes with the hip hop ditty ‘Movey’, which sounds like it’s been plucked from 1993 but adds a slice of silliness to close this highly impressive debut.

As it takes the best parts of grunge, surf punk and lo-fi indie, ‘Moveys’ is a slow motion drive through the darkening streets of your favourite city. It’s the scene from those black and white films where women in polka dot dresses take long drags from a cigarette and stare out from their high rise balconies, it’s the burning embers of the campfire made by friends on a beach.

It’s the soundtrack to whatever you desire it to be, and that’s just the point. Slow Pulp’s labour of love is soon to become your favourite record.

TOM WALSH

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