The Slow Beings – We Know Why the Earth Moves

The Slow Beings
We Know Why the Earth Moves

The Slow Beings are a fresh, new outfit from Australia. Their blend of pop, rock and fuzzy, funny punk is a nice change of pace that allows their music to soothe over you. With their debut, We Know Why the Earth Moves, they have accomplished a modest task: make an album that has equal parts indie and rock, that doesn’t sound cliché or bland. Now, to many, this may seem like a somewhat trivial task but trust me, this is a very good thing.

The album’s closing song, “The Happy Few,” is a fine example of the band’s best strengths. Craig Hallsworth’s vocals are touching and serene and the music is filled with strumming guitars that carry out a lovely melody. The accented drums foreshadow the chorus’ uplifting drive and chugging instrumentation. Choosing acoustic guitars, rather than electrical ones, is a smart choice that conveys a much more personal feel. It’s a charming song that is musically simple, yet strongly effective.

The members have played in other bands that are all tied to the Perth music scene, including The Bamboos, The Rainyard, The Healers, Header and Hallsworth’s main band, Tangled Star. Their influences are also wide and far, covering much of indie’s diverse spectrum. A strong inspiration comes from Stephen Malkmus, of Pavement fame. His presence is felt on songs like the spunky opener, “I Waste the Sea” and the laid back, “Carson Dyle.” The former is the lead single that is stretched out into a six-minute fuzzy epic, I prefer the radio edit but the extension is a nice showcase of musicianship. The latter is a sparkling gem that features subtle guitar proficiency; Hallsworth’s voice trembles with emotion and confidence with every note he sings.

Bands like Blur can be heard on songs like the thriving, “People Leave Heaven.” Its pounding drums are juxtaposed with soaring vocals and poppy hooks. Others like “(Let’s) Get (Married)” carry immediately catchy riffs that pull you in and most of the songs on here are alike in that sense. These are carefully crafted pop songs that are superbly executed.

One of the chief aspects on We Know Why the Earth Moves is the honing of the band’s fortes. They are all talented musicians and the songwriting agreeably compliments those skills. The title track calms with background “ooohs…”, the placid guitars and Hallsworth’s effortless delivery. And the fact that this is only their first album is a testament to their ability.

The Slow Beings are the kind of band that could break through onto the mainstream. They already control the hooks, melodies and riffs to compete with anyone. It’s a surprise that this album hasn’t been getting more attention because We Know Why the Earth Moves is a great listen. These Australian cats know how to make catchy music that works in many different ways and I only hope they continue to improve from here.