Tiny Moving Parts – breathe (2019)


Do you ever stumble across a band (whether it be online or in person at a show) and instantly become enamoured with their work? That was me after I saw Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts at Bled Fest in 2014. I listened to a few songs by the band prior to attending the festival and I liked what I heard, but I only ended up seeing the set because I tagged along with a friend. I was completely oblivious to the fact that all of the sounds I would be hearing were to come from three people. The band possessed such a full sound and put on a tremendous live show, compelling me to check out more of their music. Ever since, I’ve made sure to follow Tiny Moving Parts’ every step.

The emo/math rock trio broke onto the scene after the release of 2013’s This Couch Is Long & Full of Friendship and hasn’t looked back, constantly touring and releasing a new album every 18 or so months. Impressive guitar work, upbeat drumming and intense vocals with somewhat cheesy but endearing lyrics has generally been the script that Tiny Moving Parts follows, but new twists and turns are always being slipped into the fold; on 2016’s Celebrate, the band experimented with a bit of a pop punk style heard mostly in choruses while 2018’s Swell brought forth a slight shift to more of a mainstream sound with frequent clean-sung verses and choruses. This time around on the Hopeless Records-released breathe, the best parts from every other album can be experienced in an even more welcoming environment. Dylan (vocals/guitar) sings every line with utmost passion, but the aggression and angst isn’t as prevalent as on previous releases. Similarly, the drumming on breathe isn’t quite as in-your-face; it still drives the music, but it’s a more laid-back approach with occasional moments of being at the forefront or stealing the show (see: “Icicles (Morning Glow)”). The highlight of breathe is undoubtedly the intricate guitar work, as all 10 songs are littered with face-melting riffs and arpeggios that are sure to send chills up and down your spine.

Though Tiny Moving Parts is just a three-piece act, the band finds numerous ways to set itself apart from others in the emo/indie scene by presenting its listeners an emotive and adventurous collection of songs during breathe‘s 29-minute playtime. Songs like “Polar Bear” and “Bloody Nose” are sure to be favourites of long-time fans, while lead single “Medicine” and the undeniably catchy “Vertebrae” may be good starting points for newcomers. Whether you’re a returning fan or someone outside of the emo scene looking for a different experience, be sure to check out breathe. This is Tiny Moving Parts at its best and most accessible.