Tiny Moving Parts cultivate emo authenticity on ‘Swell’

Story by Mamie Lomax / Contributing Writer

The Minnesotan family trio, Tiny Moving Parts, released their fourth full-length album, “Swell,” on Friday, sending hopeless, emo-romantics like myself into a frenzy.

Tiny Moving Parts is known for their consistent music approach; emo-revival with undertones of math-rock, alternative, indie rock, and, something that past albums “Pleasant Living” and “Celebrate” brought to the table, punk.

Dylan Matthieson’s vocals, especially his shouts and harshness, have drawn me into Tiny Moving Parts from the beginning. “Swell” doesn’t disappoint on this level. Matthieson’s harshness continues to ring throughout the ten song album, and his shouts make an appearance as early as the first song, “Applause.”

Every song on “Swell” combines soaring harmonies and beautifully jarring, melodic vocals, something that as an emo-romantic and advocate for emo music in general, I crave. Tiny Moving Parts uses “Swell” to continue their consistency as an emo-revival band, but also include aspects of pop-punk, like catchy choruses and fetching guitar riffs. “Swell” is full of disconsonant optimism, something else that has been fervent in the Part’s previous discography and is a familiar aspect that fully supports the trio’s authenticity.

“Wildfire,” featuring Kelc Galluzzo, lead-singer of Jetty Bones and also Matthieson’s significant other, lays out a perfect explanation of the Parts’ nature, “I think you wished I wasn’t around anymore / I think you wish I passed in a crash of some sort.”

Plenty of the songs on “Swell” focus on the Part’s typical emo-esque lyrics, but in return offer relatively upbeat, catchy instrumentation. Galluzzo is featured on a few more tracks on the album which adds a different touch to the Part’s sound, especially since Galluzzo’s vocals are soft, wispy almost, compared to Matthieson’s.

Overall, “Swell” is an album that focuses on the uphill climb of being stuck in a rut and the lyrics, performance, production, and instrumentation all convey that rather perfectly. The groundwork that the Parts have set still remain, but “Swell” introduces a more mature sound that plays on every aspect of the music they have created.

Tiny Moving Parts is coming to Nashville Feb. 18th, 2018, at The End alongside Mom Jeans, OSO OSO and Fever Blush. More information can be found here.

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Zach Wilbourn
    February 2, 2018

    I think it’s extremely interesting to see how in this day and age that bands like Tiny Moving Parts are classified as an emo band. In the last several years, it seems that bands who fall under the emo genre’s sound seem to distance themselves from original emo bands like Snowing, Sunny Day Real-Estate, Slowdive and others of that nature. This record, in my opinion, also seemed to have some continuity issues between toying with elements from other genres. It seemed like the first couple of seconds would have a very driving pop-punk-esque verse then would drop into a very technical, math rock lead on a dime. It’s not that I believe blending genres is a bad thing, however, I feel the transitions between those moments could have been more polished, I suppose.
    Although, I feel this record has a lot to offer when it hits its best moments. I felt the explosive ending on “Malfunction” brought a lot to the table with big chord hits combined with sustaining synths. Immediately following that, “Wishbone” had me super invested from the first few seconds with an extremely tasteful guitar lead that was very reminiscent of older emo bands, specifically, American Football. While this record or band may not be my cup of tea, I can definitely see why there gaining as much traction as they are. Great read!

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