Shoplifting with Slow Pulp

Rough Trade Records

December 30th, 2023

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Chicago based indie darlings Slow Pulp stopped by Rough Trade NYC ahead of their in-store performance to chat shoe-gaze and early Coldplay.

On their ANTI- Records debut Yard, Slow Pulp nestles comfortably into pockets of nuance, impressions, contradictions – sonics and lyrics finessed together to bottle the specific tension of a feeling you’ve never quite been able to find the right words for.

Slow Pulp – Yard

Rough Trade Exclusive Violet VInyl


We caught up with Slow Pulp at our NYC store for our newest session of Shoplifting. An invitation to roam the racks in pursuit of the recorded material which has most inspired and shaped their sound today. Be sure to check out their new album Yard via ANTI- Records.

Alex: I got a Granddaddy record, Someday. I’ve just been having a Granddaddy moment on this tour, specifically Under the Western Freeway. I haven’t heard Someday yet, so I’m excited to check this one out. I got this A.R. Kane record Americana. I think they’re actually the band that did “Pump Up The [Volume]” under whatever name they did that song under. So yeah, they like they were, they were this band A.R. Kane for a while and it’s kind of like lo-fi/shoegaze.

Emily: I feel like A.R. Kane was like one of the first shoegaze bands, but they don’t necessarily get that credit. 

Alex: No, they were early, but I could be totally making that up.* Next I got Can Soundtracks. I love “Mother Sky” off of this record, and admittedly I haven’t listened to the rest very much, but that’s why I got it, ’cause I’m excited to listen to it.

Emily: The first record I got is a Robert Lester Folsom record, I actually haven’t heard this record specifically, but I love his music. It looks like this is an archive album from three years in the early 70s [Sunshine Only Sometimes: Archives Vol. 2, 1972-1975]. But I love how his music is recorded and I see a little note on the album that says that this is a collection of songs recorded in kind of unconventional spaces, like bedrooms, a barn, a motel. I think that they’ve probably caught a lot of extra magic on it as a result. My next record is Major Murphy Access. I love this band. They’re on a label called Winspear. We put out our first record out on Winspear. The title track “Access” is amazing. First time I heard it I was just totally blown away and they’re just incredible people. I got a Life Without Buildings record, Any Other City. I love this album. I think the first time I discovered it, a friend had shown it to me and it’s just been a staple in my catalog ever since. So I’m really excited to own it. I just wish I could be half as cool as she is. And then my last record I got the trio, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, [Farther Along] and it looks like a big compilation record with a ton of different songs. Some songs I think are some Dolly Parton solo songs, but there’s a recording on here of “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?,” which is one of my favorite Dolly Parton songs, and I doubt it’s the version she does with Chet Atkins, but that’s I think it’s the version probably with the three of them, which is probably three of the most iconic singer-songwriters to ever have lived. So I feel really lucky to have this record.

Henry: The first two I got here are obviously heavy hitters. I got Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie; like many people, this is in my top five albums of all time. Can we talk about how iconic it is? I love this album. I love this band. We just saw them at the Hollywood Bowl and they played this album. Up there with one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Next is Coldplay Parachutes, non-ironically. Yeah, I think early Coldplay is appreciated these days. This was a huge album for me. I also got Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. This album I feel like, well, Emily really likes Lucinda Williams and I think she is kind of like a pillar artist for us. The production on this album is really specific to my ears and it’s something I, at least subconsciously, try to do. Like it’s crunchy and compressed and kind of desolate, kind of dry. I don’t even know exactly how to describe it, but I definitely try to make music that, even though it’s not country, sounds like this. It’s raw and it’s wide open and really focused on her voice and her lyrics, which I think is awesome. And then I also got Lemonheads It’s A Shame About Ray. Also one of my favorite albums of all time and also sounds amazing. This record meant a lot to a friend of mine, so it’s for him.


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