At the start of this year, I was at a mental crossroads. I was struggling through the long-distance aspect of my relationship, I hated my job, and it started to feel like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Then, when perusing some music to find some solace, Movements’ “Daylily” hit. There was just something about the riff that sparked tears in my eyes. It was my go-to through February and I’ve really resonated with Feel Something ever since, so I’m more than excited to get to hear the band’s second LP, No Good Left To Give, and give you my thoughts.
The emotional thrill-ride that is a Movements release is to be expected at this point. The band’s made a name for themselves by tugging at every last heart-string of their listeners. It’s rare that a connection to an art like this forms with me; similar bands that come to mind are Citizen, Being as an Ocean, etc. But can Movements maintain this in their second effort?
The answer is a solid yes. No Good Left To Give is depressive in all the right places, and signifies growth from the already-stellar Feel Something. A departure from the standard fare of mainline emo, the storytelling on this new record evokes emotions easily. It’s minor-key misery, as singles like “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost” and “Skin to Skin” bring somber instrumentals to poignant pieces in the opening proceedings of the record.
I didn’t fall in love with Movements at first listen – they grew on me over time. This time around, knowing what to listen for and setting an expectation, I’m pleased to report that the non-singles hold up just as memorably. “Garden Eyes” is serene sadness, “Seneca Peak” is downright anthemic, where “Living Apology” tackles fragility with ease. Vocalist Patrick Miranda admits: “There are more themes I want to talk about. Our preferences have changed. The changes come through the record.”
The title track, a modest interlude into closer “Love Took The Last Of It,” bridges the titular follow-up with an indicator that heartbreak has broken the singer’s spirit. This rock-bottom conveyance is leaps and bounds ahead of the edgy angst that many bands try to capture, but Movements excels with. By placing the listener in scenarios and avoiding generic tropes, they’re a step ahead of the game. If there’s any shortcoming in LP2, it’s that, instrumentally, songs can sound a bit same-y, but this is a case of “don’t fix what isn’t broken.”
Movements’ No Good Left To Give can sit comfortably in “must-listen” territory for fans, and is a rewarding front-to-back listen. I will admit, now that I’m in a better headspace than I was when “Daylily” captivated me at the start of the year, I’m more empathetic than sympathetic to the new record’s lyrics, but the emotion oozing from each track is undeniable. Make your 2020 better with No Good Left To Give.
A press copy of No Good Left To Give was provided courtesy of Atom Splitter.