Tiny Moving Parts: ‘Breathe’

Hannah Hall
Staff Writer

PC: Hannah Hall

What do you get when you combine grown men still harboring angst from their teenage years, references to the Midwest and catchy song lyrics? Emo music. All of these things and more pop up on the most recent release in the realm of emo music. Tiny Moving Parts, a pioneer for modern emo and pop punk music, recently released their newest album, ‘Breathe’. This album has all of the classic emo goodness a lover of alternative music could hope for.

Tiny Moving Parts is a Minnesota based emo and alternative rock band. The band formed in their junior high days and kicked off their musical career by self-releasing their first album ‘Waves Rise, Waves Recede, the Ocean Is Full of Waves’ in 2008. The band is composed of brothers drummer William Chevalier, bassist and vocalist Matthew Chevalier, and their cousin guitarist and vocalist Dylan Mattheisen. The band has been an essential name on the radar of emo music since early 2013, releasing seven albums and sixteen music videos in the last eleven years.

‘Breathe’, the band’s seventh studio album, was released on September 13, 2019. This is the band’s first release since their 2018 album, ‘Swell’, and was prefaced by music video releases for three songs off the album, ‘Medicine’ in July, ‘Bloody Nose’ in August, and ‘Vertebrae’ earlier this month. The album was released alongside their announcement of signing to Hopeless Records, a notorious record company in the emo music world that has signed various artists such as New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday and The Used, among other big names in the emo genre. 

The musical dynamic of ‘Breathe’ adheres to the typical sad and angry pop music sound of the emo genre. This album is riddled with raw emotion and scratchy angry vocals over top of catchy and upbeat pop-rock music. ‘Breathe’ is Tiny Moving Parts’ best work to date while still being a tried and true enough album. The most notable songs on the album include ‘The Midwest Sky’, ‘Polar Bear’, and ‘Icicles (Morning Glow)’. These songs best reflect the nature of the entire album. They show off the simple raw emotional elements yet upbeat, almost pop-like sound the band has always had, along with the occasional scratchy yelling emo music is most known for.

The music on the album is overall focused on the topic of sadness that edges into full blown depression. Songs like ‘Light Bulb’, ‘Medicine’, and ‘I Can’t Shake’ are undeniably references to the songwriters emotional and mental state. This aspect makes the album that much more emotional, combined with the pure frustration and obvious sadness in the vocalist’s voice. The rawness and unabashed expression of emotions that are extremely prevalent in society yet often seen as taboo to discuss makes this album amazing on a conceptual level. 

While being such an emotional album, ‘Breathe’ also has many simplistic elements. Simple lyrics, simple melodies, simple beats. This is what truly makes this a great album. Nothing on the album seems forced or excessive. The aspect of simplicity makes the emotional relevance that much clearer. There are no fancy musical techniques, because none are needed. Tiny Moving Parts takes on the classic alternative sound that they and many other emo bands are known for. The band stays true to their genre, while still being able to make new and interesting music.

This album is everything you could hope for from artists. It is full of emotion and honesty while still being catchy. It is simple while still feeling fresh and having a depth to it. This album is proof that musicians can write sad songs without being too sad. 

All in all, ‘Breathe’ is an outstanding album. So many classic elements of emo music work together to make this album an amazing listen. It truly encompasses all the positives of emo music. While this genre of music is not for everyone, this album is definitely a top contender for one of the best alternative albums of 2019. If you are a self proclaimed emo kid at heart like myself, give ‘Breathe’ by Tiny Moving Parts a listen. I promise you will walk away with a catchy tune or two stuck in your head.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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