Wisconsin-bred and Chicago-based band Slow Pulp – Emily Massey (vocals/guitar), Alexander Leeds (bass), Theodore Mathews (drums), and Henry Stoehr (guitar) – released their self-produced debut album a few weeks ago, and now they share a music video for standout single, Track.
The incredible video which features hand-drawn animations by Corrinne James was inspired by beautiful familial love and what it feels like being a fish pulled out of the water.
Massey explains of the song: “I was waiting for the train one day to go home to my parents. There was an older woman who was also waiting on the track and she reminded me of my late Grandmother who I had not thought of in a while. She passed away of alzheimers when I was in high school. My mother often worries she is going to get it as well. The song acts as a letter attempting to reassure her that she will never be forgotten even if she forgets.”
Watch the video for Track via YouTube below.
A testament to hard-fought personal growth, ‘Moveys’ is a remarkable record made in remarkable times, as Slow Pulp powered through health challenges, personal upheaval, and a pandemic. The songs on Moveys took shape while on tour with Alex G in 2019, after the band scrapped an album’s-worth of material following Massey’s diagnosis with Lyme disease and chronic Mono. The obstacles only continued from there, as Massey’s parents were soon after in a severe car crash…one week before COVID-19 shut the country down. Full of blistering energy and emotional catharsis, this compelling 10-track collection highlights the band’s resourcefulness and resilience to come together during unthinkable times.
‘Moveys’ is out now via Winspear – Download, stream, or purchase here
‘Moveys’ track listing
1. New Horse
2. Trade It
5. At It Again
6. Channel 2
7. Whispers (In The Outfield)
8. Falling Apart
Slow Pulp’s tough adaptability is something that has formed over time thanks to the unbreakable bond of lifelong friendship. The band’s roots can be traced back to elementary school, with Leeds, Mathews and Stoehr performing in bands together since the sixth grade while growing up in Madison. Massey 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,’ before scrapping the material following’s Massey’s Mono and Lyme diagnosis. “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,” she explains. “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 of 2019, new songs started to take shape. However, in March, as Slow Pulp 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).
After a handful of singles and EPs, ‘Moveys’ marks a turning point for Slow Pulp, not just as musicians, but as friends and bandmates. The extremely untraditional circumstances of the album forced the quartet to break old habits, and learn to be both better songwriters and friends. The result is a marked departure from the ramshackle coziness of their earlier output, with a more thoughtful sound that will draw you in on first listen.
The word “moveys” is multi-faceted for Slow Pulp. It’s a made-up word, and a title of the album’s bonus track. It is an invitation to dance. It is a wink at the cross-country nature of the album’s songwriting process, while the bandmates were literally on the move touring, sheltering in place, and going through major life changes. But, mostly, it’s an inside joke. Listening to these warm, dynamic and welcoming songs, it’s easy to feel like you’re a part of it too.