Saturday December 2nd, 8pm, Main Room
On their 2nd full-length album: Yard, the Wisconsin-bred, Chicago-based four-piece nestles comfortably into pockets of nuance, impressions, contradictions—sonics and lyrics finessed together to bottle the specific tension of a feeling you’ve never quite been able to find the right words for. In that regard, listening to Slow Pulp can feel like being in a room with someone who’s known you so long that they can read your every micro-expression and pinpoint exactly how you’re feeling before you can. Perhaps this spawns from the band’s own shared history and chemistry; in various ways, the four of them grew up—are still growing up—together.
In September 2018, the band relocated to Chicago and moved in together, writing and recording most of their Big Day EP at a cabin in Michigan the following January. As they put in the hours on stage and in the studio, the buzz continued to grow, they kept refining their work, and by 2019, they were touring with Alex G and working on their debut full-length record, Moveys.
But the journey to Yard wasn’t linear: Massey was diagnosed with Lyme disease and chronic mono, leaving her to grapple with physical and mental health challenges amid a blossoming music career and the demands that come with it. Then, just days before the COVID-19 lockdown, her parents were involved in a serious car accident, and she moved away from Slow Pulp and back home to care for them. The band finished Moveys in isolation, with Emily recording her vocals with her dad, Michael, in his small home studio. It was their only option at the time, but the band opted to record the vocals with Michael again on Yard.
Themes of isolation and the subsequent process of learning to be comfortable with yourself sprout up throughout Yard, right alongside the importance of learning to trust, love, and lean on others. Within Slow Pulp, this trust between members is evident in the playful collaboration that remains core to Slow Pulp’s creative process. Take album opener “Gone 2:” the “2” was added when they decided to scrap the first version and record a new iteration of the track just before turning the record in. They saw the video for “Scar Tissue” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing (on mute) and immediately knew the visuals were exactly what they wanted the song to sound like.
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