The dreamy songs of High Pulp's new album Yard draw on moody shoegaze, hooky grunge, and intimate lo-fi fare.
On Yard, the Wisconsin-bred, Chicago-based four-piece Slow Pulp 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 the quartet 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.
Guitarist Henry Stoehr and drummer Teddy Mathews attended elementary school together in Madison. Not long after, they met bassist Alex Leeds at the west side location of the now-closed local music program called Good’nLoud Music. And while Massey didn’t enter the fold until later on in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Mathews and Stoehr, it turns out she was in the same program on the other side of town at Good’nLoud’s east side location. In fact, the chords to Yard’s addictive track “Slugs” are from a song Stoehr wrote for his crush in the sixth grade.
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.