Fake Pulp captures longing without losing a sense of humor.
On their latest EP, Philadelphia’s Fake Pulp captures the sweet melancholy of longing without losing a sense of humor. The soft and layered sound of the album, titled that portal is mine and it must be sealed for the love of god!, is reminiscent of bedroom pop projects that are subtly experimental such as Brittle Brian, Claire Cottrill, and Alex G (whose song “Change” is covered on the album). The quiet intimacy of Fake Pulp, combined with the specificity of song titles like “you fell in love with her first, craig” makes this album feel like an inside joke, but the kind of that doesn’t leave anyone out.
The album’s first track “we don’t hold hands” begins like a stripped down version of Florist’s “Dark Light.” But while “Dark Light” eventually breaks out in a linear direction like a highway, “we don’t hold hands” moves in meditative circles, repeating the same guitar riff throughout the song like a roundabout. “6-2 but I’m winning” is also constructed through the repetition of the same bewitching chord progression. The lyric “it’s better this way, we can be friends” (exactly the sort of thing you would need to be hypnotized in order to believe) falls in overlapping layers. “You fell in love with her first, craig” sounds like the flipside of falling in love. I don’t mean breaking up, but the part that actually feels like falling; when you find yourself suddenly, precariously vulnerable. Fake Pulp invites us to join in that rawness with the EP’s description on bandcamp: “this album is about you.” Even if this description refers to a specific someone, it effectively points a finger at whoever ends up reading it, which is perfect because we were always going to make it about us anyway. I know I was.
Listen to Fake Pulp on bandcamp.
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Ana Bauer is a frizzy-haired girl and student at Bard College who tweets from @anadelray when she isn’t talking about Twitter in real life.