Photo: Ester Segretto
Photo: Ester Segretto

Slow Motion Picture’s debut album, In Memory of… is a journey.  It’s an exploration into the inexplicable pain of loss and the struggle to understand and to cope with death’s ruthless finality.

“I had a dream.”

It’s just a whisper above the background din of everyday life on the aptly named “Opening” that starts the journey.  From the moody thrum of church organ we are swept into a sunburst of sound, (the angelic vocals of Lauren Edman) and move seamlessly into “From Under Paris.”

These transitions of momentum throughout In Memory Of… are sweeping and lend a cinematic scope to its flow.  This record is at times delicate and reminiscent of Mojave 3 but at other times filled with urgency as in “I’ve Been Quiet Too Long” a song that could quite easily fit into The National’s discography.

In Memory of...

Even “Everything That Was”, the closest track to a Pop song, has an underlying layer of dreamy fuzz and singing strings that keep it cohesive to the album’s slow-river flow despite an energetic pace.

As we draw nearer to the album’s close, In Memory of… hints at the transition to acceptance in the hauntingly sad, beautiful “Hideout”:

“I need a little time to prepare myself.  The life I left behind is a box upon a shelf”

and then onto the eventual path toward healing (although loss is never completely healed) revealed in the visceral “When This Nightmare Ends Its Course” declaration of “Let this be the end of ever after”.

The album’s final track “The Wolf” is an atmospheric powder keg that explodes, blooms, and flourishes throughout its glowing six and a half minutes and makes for a perfect finale to the album.

All ten tracks on In Memory of… hold up as standalone songs, but the real power of this album can only be experienced in a start-to-finish listening session.  It’s a complex musical drama that manages to wrangle one of life’s rawest experiences, softening it but never fully taming it.