Review by Shannon Shumaker
Complex is the perfect way to describe Tiny Moving Parts’ newest release, Celebrate, from the increasingly technical instrumentation to the complicated and messy emotions and daily struggles that fuel the lyricism. Celebrate tells of the struggles that every 20-something will face eventually, all over stunning instrumentals that continue to set Tiny Moving Parts apart from the pack.
“Nothing’s ever good enough,” the very first line on Celebrate, sets the tone for the rest of the album, which documents the struggles of remaining optimistic and overcoming hardships while learning from them. These themes are introduced right off the bat, with stunning, sweeping guitar and bass work to back it up. “Good Enough” flows flawlessly from one moment to the next, no matter how many times the song may change pace, and despite the rather melancholy lyricism, it really does seem that Tiny Moving Parts are more than good enough.
Not only does it flow well within the songs, but Celebrate also flows effortlessly from one song to the other. Despite the themes of the album - especially the fear of failure - it feels very comfortable. Tiny Moving Parts are right at home writing complex, yet seemingly easy songs like “Happy Birthday,” where vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen declares, “I think I think too much.” The additional vocals and string instruments at the end of the track are absolutely stunning, as well. Following “Happy Birthday,” comes “Birdhouse,” which echoes the message, “I know it’s hard to let go,” over quite possibly some of the most stunning guitar work on the album.
“Stay Warm” slows things down with a bass-heavy sound and beautiful lyrical imagery. This track tells of wanting to do something worth remembering in lines such as, “I just want to be remembered/Like a flood in the spring/You will find beauty in the act of drowning,” and “Never lose your focus/Your sense of direction.” This track serves as a positive turning point in the album, and the transition between the more negative and intrusive thoughts and this more uplifting and inspirational track is noticeable not only in the lyricism, but also in the warm instrumentals and upbeat drumming later in the song.
“Breathe Deep” is fleeting but instrumentally one of the strongest songs on Celebrate, with frantic, video game-like guitar carrying the song forward over strong drums and poetic lyricism. The following song, “Volumes” slows things down once again, but where it lacks in high energy it makes up for in emotional lyrics and beautiful vocal harmonies. Closing out the album is “Minnow,” which ends things with the message, “Maybe everything is meant to be.”
The highs and lows of life are well documented in Celebrate, making it easy to relate to while still remaining personal to Tiny Moving Parts. These songs are emotional and messy, but beautiful and well-composed at the same time - literally art imitating life. If you’ve never listened to this trio before, now is a good time to start paying attention.
Listen to "Stay Warm"
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