Slow Pulp’s remarkable full-length debut Moveys is a testament to hard-fought personal growth. In the process of making their new record, the Chicago-based indie rock band powered through health challenges, personal upheaval, and a pandemic, all while breaking old habits and learning how to be better songwriters and friends. Full of blistering energy and emotional catharsis, this compelling 10-track collection highlights the band’s resourcefulness and resilience to come together even when they were states away.
Slow Pulp’s tough adaptability is something that has formed over time thanks to the unbreakable bond of lifelong friendship. Slow Pulp’s roots can be traced back to elementary school, with Alexander Leeds (bass), Theodore Mathews (drums), and Henry Stoehr (guitar) performing in bands together since the sixth grade while growing up in Madison, Wisconsin. Emily Massey (vocals/guitar) was later invited to join their new project, Slow Pulp, in 2017. “I can’t describe a level of closeness with other people like we have. Having lived together, toured together, worked together, and written together, we learned so much about each other so quickly,” says Massey.
Slow Pulp first started working on new songs in the Spring of 2019, immediately after the release of their EP, Big Day, but they ended up scrapping the material. “When we started writing this record, I had been experiencing so much fatigue and getting sick a lot and I didn’t know what it was. I got diagnosed with Lyme disease and a chronic Mono,” says Massey. She adds, “The diagnosis validated a lot of what I was feeling. I got tools for how to take care of myself better.” For Massey, taking care of herself meant more than just addressing her physical needs. “The way that I internalize trauma is I will hold it in and not process it for a very long time, but writing songs is the one place where I can’t hide from myself. It just comes out whether or not I want it to or if I’m ready for it to. Figuring out how to write together, as a band, was like me learning how to take care of myself and learning how to communicate better.”
When the band toured with Alex G in the fall, new songs started to take shape. However, in March, as the band was finishing the songs and starting to realize a full-length effort, Massey’s parents got in a severe car accident forcing her to pause recording and return home to Madison and take care of them. A week later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “I wasn’t able to come back to Chicago for a while. How were we going to finish this apart from each other?” thought Massey.
With Stoehr leading engineering, mixing, and production duties, the band managed to finish the record in an isolated, post-COVID world. “Thankfully most instrumentals were already written. Alex and Henry and I were all able to do that separately from a studio space that we rent in Chicago. It required a lot of FaceTime which was no substitute for us being in the room together,” says Mathews. As Massey’s father Michael recovered from his injuries, the two worked on completing her vocal takes from his home studio. On top of engineering all but two vocal tracks, Michael Massey also contributed the instrumental piano track “Whispers (In the Outfield).”
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