ALBUM REVIEW: Tiny Moving Parts – Swell

Release Date: January 26th 2018
Label: Big Scary Monsters/Triple Crown Records


Minnesota based emo trio Tiny Moving Parts‘ last album ‘Celebrate’ showed them hitting on all cylinders, with their emo, math rock tinged sound coming into full fruition across eleven emotionally wrenching songs. It was a step-up from 2014’s ‘Pleasant Living’, both musically and lyrically.

After the success of ‘Celebrate’ and with the release of their fourth album ‘Swell’ on the horizon, it’s no wonder why this record has become one of 2018’s most anticipated.

Crossing over into various genres is something that Tiny Moving Parts pull off incredibly well. Having toured with the likes of Modern Baseball, PUP, and The Wonder Years, they’ve definitely found a welcome home amongst the emo/pop-punk scene, but also fusing math rock and indie elements into their heartfelt sound is what makes this band such an interesting listen. Both ‘Applause’ and ‘Whale Watching’ in particular demonstrate this extremely well.

Frontman Dylan Mattheisen‘s vocals are as intense as ever throughout ‘Swell’, striking an effective balance between shouting/screaming delivery and clean melodies that often fill up verses. Mattheisen‘s voice particularly shines on ‘It’s Cold Tonight’ and ‘Wishbone’; the latter of the two is lead by a dreamy intricate guitar line, and sees the album’s title sitting in the closing lyrics, “May your brain cells swell with love.”

While ‘Swell’ doesn’t contain huge developments in sound compared to the band’s releases, it’s still Tiny Moving Parts doing what they do best, and the result is a powerful record that, while resonating feelings of angst, self-doubt, and bitterness, contains a strong flare of optimism and hope. It’s a great effort that both long-time fans and new listeners alike will enjoy.