MOVEMENTS – No Good Left To Give
Released: September 18, 2020
Patrick Miranda| vocals
Austin Cressey| bass
Spencer York | drums
Ira George | guitar
I don’t know about you, but the last 3 years have felt deadly dull without any new music from Southern California quartet, Movements. But thank god 2020 has SOME good left to give, with the release of Movements’ sophomore album, yeah you got it, No Good Left To Give. Producing both their first EP Outgrown Things and their debut album Feel Something, it was a no brainer for the band to continue collaborating with Will Yip (La Dispute, Turnover, Tigers Jaw) on this record.
For me, Feel Something was the album that sucked me straight in to Movements. No matter how many times I listen to that album, no matter what mood I’m in, it manages to pull all my emotions to the surface and leaves me in a state of euphoria. With that being said, I had some pretty high expectations for this new record and god damn, was I ready to feel something again.
Emotion soaked vocals and gloomy soundscapes really are Movements’ bread and butter, and the opening track ‘In My Blood’ gives us all of that and more. It’s absolutely classic moody Movements, but even more polished and glossy, leaving you feeling exactly how you’d want to feel when listening to these guys.
Through chimey guitar chords and bright shimmery vocals, ‘Skin To Skin’ twists away from the heavy and portrays a more optimistic and upbeat vibe. Being the first time the band have touched on intimacy in their writing, they waste no time to show us just how beautifully they have evolved.
Title track ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’ was the first single released from this record and is in every aspect, one hell of a song. While keeping their staple sound afloat, they’ve added a whole new layer of powerful and emotive sounds. With what sounds like a group of people singing the lyrics “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost”, it actually took me by surprise the first time I heard it as it’s a new sound for the band. Miranda explained:
“It talks about depression and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. It’s told from the perspective of a person who is dealing with a friend who confides that he or she has attempted to kill him or herself. However, this person has been there as well and has even made suicide attempts, too. The person tries to console the friend and let him or her know she’s not alone. It’s about not giving up when there’s so much more the world can offer. Even though you’re in a certain place right now, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be in the same place forever.“
This track truly is as catchy as it is melancholic.
‘Tunnel Vision’ was the final song released before the album dropped. It’s swimming in ethereal tones, atmospheric harmonies and cascading drums, Pat’s sorrowful screams shaking and crumbling every emotional wall that has been built.
I absolutely love everything about ‘Garden Eyes’. The verses seem to float so effortlessly over York’s crashing drums, George’s ambient guitar and Cressey’s somber bass. The chorus feels warm and gentle, like it’s emotionally hugging you the whole way through.
‘12 Weeks’ was a track that lyrically resonated with me, so when I spoke to Pat (full interview here) I was dying to ask him for his thoughts behind it. He explained:
“It’s this doubt in your mind that comes from always be the one person to fall out of love and hurt another person in a relationship, because you can’t seem to stay connected to them for periods of time.”
When I think of bands that can touch on heavy subjects such as this and visibly cast the sheer emotion behind it through their music, Movements are one of the first that come to mind. ‘12 Weeks’ is a perfect example of this and despite the heavy message it carries, it still manages to instil a ray of hope and bittersweet happiness.
Although ‘Living Apology’ is sweeping with fragile tones and moody guitar chords, it doesn’t feel as gloomy as its name. At its core, it still paints a picture of optimism and vulnerability through being unapologetically you. It instils hope for that light at the end of a dark tunnel, which so many of us need.
Creating a nostalgic and familiar mood, ‘Santiago Peak’ allows us to feel the undeniable connection to a place you’d always call home, no matter how far away life may take you. The magnetic pull to this particular place can be felt through the sincere vocals, constantly longing and yearning, an ache that never truly goes away.
You know that feeling in your stomach when you see an ex lover post an engagement photo on social media with their new partner? ‘Seneca’ is that feeling. You are probably happy for them (or at least pretend to be), but also can’t help but feel slightly empty at the same time. This track shines a spotlight on that emotion, one that you don’t quite understand and can’t control. ‘It’s bittersweet because you look so happy’ and ‘I have to understand that you’re elsewhere’ are some of the raw and relatable lyrics in this track and even if you haven’t personally been in the same situation, you get a taste of how it feels through heart aching and remorseful vocals.
‘Moonlight Lines’ lyrically takes us on a journey to the harsh un-longing for someone’s heart and rather just wanting to be in their presence to feel less alone. Patrick’s well known and passionate speaking-vocals make a come back on this track, expressively pushing it to a whole other level.
Weaving together lyrically, ‘No Good Left To Give’ and ‘Love Took The Last Of It’ take the album to a close and wholeheartedly remind us of why there is a photo of Movements next to the dictionary definition of ‘musical genius’. Though these two tracks are quite opposite in pace, they naturally fuse together to paint the finishing touches on this incredible work of art.
This truly is the best Patrick’s vocals have ever sounded. Even through cutting back on so much of the raw screams we have heard on their previous albums, his vocal delivery is just oozing with passion, pain, vulnerability and all of the other feelings we’d come to expect when listening to Movements, ramped up to 100000.
No Good Left To Give has not only shown Movements evolve lyrically through speaking to subjects they had not yet touched on, but also through their overall sound and production. I find myself intertwined so deeply with every track on this album and therefore profoundly connected to this band in many ways. The mood is distinctively set from the beginning and consistently carried the whole way through, cohesively tying all these tracks together to create a 42-minute marvel.
I mentioned earlier one of the things I love about Movements, is that no matter what mood I am in when I begin to listen, I am always left feeling like a void has been filled. This album is absolutely no different. It could be the perfect soundtrack to any feeling, any moment, or any empty space in your mind. It could be just the helping hand you need when you’re going through a tough time, or the perfect balance between feeling overwhelmed with hopelessness and blissfulness at the very same time.
Movements have completely outdone themselves with this album. No Good Left To Give is an incontestable masterpiece. And so, I’ll finish this review up with 4 final words.
ALBUM. OF. THE. YEAR.
Movements – No Good Left To Give tracklisting
1. In My Blood
2. Skin To Skin
3. Don’t Give Up Your Ghost
4. Tunnel Vision
5. Garden Eyes
6. 12 Weeks
7. Living Apology
8. Santiago Peak
10. Moonlight Lines
11. No Good Left To Give
12. Love Took The Last Of It
Revisit Rhiannon’s chat with Movements vocalist Patrick Miranda here!