Southern California quartet Movements are back with their sophomore album No Good Left To Give, released on Fearless Records. When it landed in our inbox for review, we were told, “it’s a special one,” and indeed it was.
The album opens with ‘In My Blood’, a song about losing something you loved more than anything in the world. A moody melody about wishing you could have said goodbye – with matching riffs that rise like a racing heart. We straight away realise that this is a slicker sounding Movements then we’ve heard before. Next up is ‘Skin To Skin’, a catchy uptempo song that lyrically is about sexual longing and wanting to learn everything about someone on an intimate level.
Don’t let that optimism fool you, though. We’re quickly transported into a darker place with ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’ A song you may have already heard as it was the first single released from the album and focuses around talking down someone with suicidal ideation. The whole track is designed to let you know you are not alone. Patrick Miranda tells of someone on the edge, “But there’s a beauty I believe you can find / Under the grief / Under the compromise / An ember that remains to ignite / Desperate to breathe / Desperate to stay alive.”
In comparison, ‘Tunnel Vision’ is intended to be the opposite of ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’. Its sweet harmonies compliment the lyrics that start by telling the listeners, “Long gone from long term sentence / There’s nights where I wish I’d die / Each time that I pass the entrance / Wander up and peek inside.” Somehow the band makes these difficult subjects easy listening – perhaps pushing their audience to confront their own demons.
The brilliant bass lines from Austin Cressey and dynamic drums from Spencer York are every bit as important in building the emotional landscape as Miranda’s lyrical content and the complimentary riffs of Ira George. On this record, the band worked with Will Yip, who produced both their first EP Outgrown Things and Album Feel Something, and yet the progression is clear. They do not sit in the box they previously created for themselves either lyrically or musically. True to their classic sound, however, evolved into something more mature at the same time.
The twelve tracks are each as individually beautiful as the album is cohesively perfect. This is highlighted as we near the end of the record and face ‘No Good Left To Give’ and ‘Love Took The Last Of It’. The first is adapted from a poem Miranda wrote in which two emotions are personified as characters, Love and Emptiness. Both of which can not exist without the other.
The second song of the duo, and last on the album, takes this theory and applies it to a real-life situation. We hear “Now we’re both left with an emptiness / All alone with no good left to give / Love took the last of it” lyrics that emulate the only lines from ‘No Good Left To Give’ which are “All Alone, stood Emptiness / With a look so desperate / There’s no good that’s left to give / Love took the last of it.”
This unique way to end the album is something that stands out as much as Movements do. They may be only two albums in, and they already have developed so much that we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. For now though, we suggest you give this one your full attention when it’s released on Friday, September 18th; you won’t regret it.