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Slow Pulp - Yard (Album Review)

Monday, 09 October 2023 Written by Katie Macbeth

Releasing their first album, ‘Moveys’, during the pandemic didn’t seem to hinder Slow Pulp’s rise all that much, with critical acclaim settling on a record that felt fitting for gloomy autumn nights. Now, with the release of their second LP, ‘Yard’, the Wisconsin indie-rockers delve further into a sense of isolation in order to deal with the subsequent feelings of re-learning to trust and love others.

Opener Gone 2 is an atmospheric, melancholic number that perfectly sets the tone for the album, as vocalist Emily Massey comes to terms with being alone while she searches for love from other people. She sketches a sense of insecurity, as though she senses she’s not doing a good enough job at it. 

The aptly titled Doubt follows, holding aloft a catchy hook that cleverly disguises the song's sombre undertones.

Massey’s lyrics are poignant as she begs for someone to confirm her doubts, asking, "I know you’re not always a judge / Am I not enough or too much / Can you fix this I think I’m ready to commit."

Cramps then moves ‘Yard’ into heavier territory, maintaining the wistful indie tones of Doubt, but this time with Massey’s mournful words soaring over distorted guitars and driving drums.

The captivating Slugs fits perfectly in the space between getting to know someone new and feeling overwhelmed by the excitement of that experience, capturing the sudden anxieties that arise when realising that you care about that person. Evoking memories of the summer, it is warm and romantic without feeling overly sweet. 

Carina Phone 1000 showcases Slow Pulp’s growth since ‘Moveys’. Although brushed with a touch of sadness, the addition of strings here adds to the album’s richness. The lyrics tell a personal, yet universal, story, as though listeners are peeking into Massey’s diary. She tenderly recalls a phone conversation with a friend, sharing that she is trying her best and making progress.

‘Yard’ reaches a rewarding end with Massey discovering comfort and self-acceptance. Closer Fishes serves as a reminder that one should always prioritise self-care and love themselves before seeking it from others. Each track adds a unique element to the album’s palette, resulting in Slow Pulp’s most personal, triumphant work to date.

Slow Pulp Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed November 29 2023 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Thu November 30 2023 - LIVERPOOL District
Fri December 01 2023 - GLASGOW Hug and Pint
Sat December 02 2023 - DUBLIN Workmans Club Cellar
Mon December 04 2023 - MANCHESTER YES (The Basement)
Tue December 05 2023 - BRISTOL Bristol Strange Brew
Wed December 06 2023 - LONDON Garage
Thu December 07 2023 - BRIGHTON Green Door Store

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