I MEAN, as if the depredations of the coronavirus weren’t enough; try having the year that Emily Massey, singer-guitarist of Wisconsin-formed, Chicago-based, languid guitar venturers Slow Pulp has just lived through.
Off the back of their Big Day EP – their fifth release, but their first venture into the physical format, they began work on a new clutch of material. That was until a diagnosis of Lyme disease and mononucleosis laid Emily low.
“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 explained.
The material was scrapped, a whole album’s worth; she nursed herself back to health; there followed a successful tour with Philly songsmith Alex G. Things were back on track.
Come March this year and a new set of songs were up for a final polish, forming their debut album, Moveys, which is set for a release this October.
And at just that point Emily had to return to Wisconsin: her parents had been involved in a serious car crash. Oh: and then, a week later, covid.
Luckily the band had massive internal strength, forged in growing up together in Madison, Wisconsin: “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,” Emma concludes.
Phew. Through the fires they’ve come, and they’re letting us all have a sneak preview of “Idaho”, the first single to be taken from Moveys. Watch the song and accompanying animation below.
And on this evidence, it’s one I’ll be down the record emporium to pick it up come October 9th. The song has this beautiful pacing and sweet, melancholy US alt.pop grace; I’m quaffing the glass and I’m getting top notes of much-missed boy-girl duo Joy Zipper, even The Real Ramona-era Throwing Muses. These are, of course, rather lovely and great things.
The song has its roots in life-on-the-road disorientation that led guitarist Henry Stoehr to confuse a Slow Pulp gig at Colorado College for a show in an entirely different state.
Moveys is self-produced and the band promise it’s “full of blistering energy and emotional catharsis.” You can pre-order a copy here; it comes on marbled blue, green and trad black vinyl, cassette and CD.