Madison, WI-bred and Chicago-based band Slow Pulp–Emily Massey (vocals/guitar), Alexander Leeds (bass), Theodore Mathews (drums), and Henry Stoehr (guitar)– recently announced Moveys, their self-produced debut album, and shared its first single “Idaho.”
The band share another song off of the forthcoming record, entitled “Falling Apart.” The track, featuring Alex G collaborator Molly Gemer on violin, is accompanied by a fantastical music video about feeling lost in a familiar landscape. Director Jake Lazovick, places Emily in a transient world, surrounded by flying objects and missing pieces. The clip features nostalgic animations, body doubles for social distancing purposes, and an homage to Massey’s background as a ballet dancer.
“As we were finishing up writing the album my parents got into a serious car accident and I came back home to help take care of them. A couple of weeks later COVID-19 started getting worse in the US, and quarantine began. Life felt completely surreal, everything had drastically changed and at such a rapid pace. It was especially strange because everyone was experiencing the same thing at the same time, but couldn’t be physically with each other to support each other. I felt like I couldn’t process any emotions I had about the whole ordeal because I had to keep it together to take care of my family. It became easier to stay numb, and create a facade that I was doing ok, than it was to release any type of healthy emotion for a long time. Luckily I did allow myself to have a full on breakdown induced by a stubbed toe and confusion over taxes, sometimes it’s the littlest things that finally get you.”
A testament to hard-fought personal growth, Moveys is a remarkable debut 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 time.
Pre-order Moveys, out October 9th on Winspear, HERE
Slow Pulp – Moveys
Out October 9th via Winspear
UK/EU Tour Dates:
2/15/21 – Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
2/16/21 – Manchester, UK @ YES
2/18/21 – London, UK @ The Shacklewell Arms
2/19/21 – Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin
2/20/21 – Paris, FR @ Supersonic
2/22/21 – Brussels, BE @ Volta
2/23/21 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
2/24/21 – Berlin, DE @ Monarch
2/25/21 – Hamburg, DE @ Aalhaus
2/26/21 – Copenhagen, DK @ Huset
Tickets available HERE
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.
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