Indie-rock band Slow Pulp debuted their first studio album, “Moveys,” on Oct. 9, blending themes of heartbreak, anxiety and loneliness.
The Chicago-based band began making music together in elementary school, and released their first EP, “Ep2,” in 2017. The band finished recording “Moveys” remotely, offering an angsty, melodramatic approach to their debut album.
The album’s leading track, “New Horse,” opens with a folksy chord progression that transitions into melancholy indie lyrics. Combining layered vocals with acoustic guitar, the track completely immerses the listener in its cinematic-sounding aura.
The more mellow “Trade It” switches in tone—incorporating angsty, garage-band sounding vocals with minimal guitar reminiscent of the ‘90s. Incorporating additional nostalgic elements, the track reminisces with the lyrics, “I know now / I’m not all you wanted.”
My personal favorite, “Idaho” picks up the tempo, carrying a more upbeat and cheery vibe than the album’s first two tracks. Holding an early-2000s aura, the track reminds me of something one might hear during the end credits of the 2003 film “Freaky Friday.” The lyrics, “I kept holding out for the downside / Before I knew why,” evoke a familiar feeling of waiting for things to go wrong.
Upbeat and versatile “Track” is built around electric guitar backed by supporting vocals and minimal drums. The ultrasimple lyrics, “You’re a nice day / A forgotten place,” felt oddly descriptive and relatable. This track sounds the most angsty off the album, ending with static sounds from its guitar amplifier.
The album’s fifth track, “At It Again,” surprised me with its strength of its vocal tone. Lead singer Emily Massey belted her typically soft-sounding voice during the chorus. My favorite aspect of the track is the tastefully placed background vocals sprinkled throughout.
“Channel 2” uses male lead vocals rather than Massey’s, offering something fresh —a change I thought worked well on the track list. Beyond the vocals, I enjoyed the opening lyrics, “Concentration takes up all of my time / I’ll come back tomorrow,” as I too find myself spending too much time in my thoughts.
The album’s seventh track and interlude, “Whispers (In the Outfield),” serves solely as an instrumental break. Being the album’s first piano track, “Whispers” captivated me with its experimental qualities.
Somber and sorrowful, “Falling Apart” sounds like a rainy day. Combining sad vocals with guitar slides and slow paced drums, the track has an overall gloomy vibe. The song’s vividly descriptive lyrics, “Looking at the TV / Thinking that you’re dreaming,” match its melancholy production.
Ultra-‘90s “Movey” incorporates words such as “scram” and “move it” throughout, reminding one of lingo used on the 1989 sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” The track’s campiness doesn’t stop there, as it employs retro-sounding electric piano and record scratches — all of which I found endearing.
Clearly drawing inspiration from bands such as Radio Head and Mazzy Star, Slow Pulp created a distinctive, grungy indie sound for “Moveys” –– one I wish they would have ventured out of a little more. I’d recommend this album to anyone looking for an easy, nostalgic listen to play in the background.