Movements have quietly become one of the pop-punk/emo scene’s most cherished bands. With visceral lyrics focusing on mental health struggles, the band have made it clear they were once, clinically, not okay; and that seems to have really resonated with their growing fanbase.
While their first two albums (Feel Something and No Good Left To Give) feel like sides of the same coin, their next record is a stark departure. Movements just announced their third album, Ruckus!, is hitting streaming services on August 18, 2023. Before that, they dropped three singles from the record, but fans have heard nothing yet.
Coolly lounged on a sofa in a London pub, hours before dominating a sold-out show at Camden’s Underworld, Movements’ singer and primary lyricist Patrick Miranda exclusively told Express.co.uk that Ruckus! came from a desire to shake things up for the band – and their fans. “I wanted to find a name for the album that encompassed the energy of what the songs are doing,” he mapped out in the air. “Ruckus! is meant to stir people up. And this record, in particular, is quite different to anything we’ve done in the past. Although I don’t think that it doesn’t sound like Movements – I think at its core, it still does. There’s a new kind of energy that’s in your face.”
Miranda cited Bloc Party as one of the main influences for the album which he described as sonically “diverse”. “I think for a long time, us as a band have – kind of – pandered a little bit to what we thought Movements was supposed to sound like,” he said. “We wanted to be like: ‘We’re an emo band, or a specific genre or specific piece of the music scene’ – we had to kind of stick with it in that realm. In this record, we said f**k that, let’s do whatever we want! The stuff that’s fun, the stuff we listened to growing up and pulled inspiration from.”
Miranda noted that Ruckus! has been stitched together using an expansive breadth of music, pointing out that it contains the band’s “hardest of the hard and softest of the soft” to date. But that doesn’t mean the album has been written and recorded without a hunger. Miranda mused that Ruckus! is perhaps their most “aggressive” album thus far. That goes for the production, as well, with some truly powerful guitar tones and deep drum fills that can’t be ignored. One track even has a children’s choir screaming: “I hope you choke!” at the top of their lungs – a therapist somewhere is going to have a field day on that.
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While Miranda stressed there is a lot of recognisable, old-style Movements music in the album, the new flavour is here to stay. “We’re trying to expand and forget any sort of guidelines or genre or sounds that is out there,” he said.
Miranda is captivating, well-spoken, and casual in conversation – but he’s also extremely intelligent and calculated. He knows how the industry works, and he wants Movements’ music to be heard by as many people as possible. If that means “leaning” into some “pop” sensibilities on the way, then so be it. He theorised: “Somebody who’s never heard of this band before who only listens to top-40 radio or country, or whatever that may be, can maybe hear Ruckus! and think: ‘Wow, I can actually listen to this band, I really like this.'”
Some fanbases vocally fear their favourite bands becoming exceedingly popular and “selling out” (for lack of a better term). But having this branding is not something Miranda is even worrying about. “There’s always going to be the people who say: ‘You’re a sellout if you end up doing big things’ … I don’t think there’s anything wrong with becoming a more quote-unquote ‘marketable’ band.”
Naturally, Miranda was keen to defend his castle. He loves the band’s fans, but he, and the rest of the band, want to grow. He’s already – understandably – a little worried about how people might react to the new music. But he stood by Movements’ vision: “If you’re one of the people commenting being like: ‘What happened to this band? Where’s all the meaning?’ If you don’t think these songs have the same meaning you’re just not listening. It’s classic Movements songs being plated and served with a different look.”
Miranda was perhaps a little defensive because of the music’s subject matter, though. Movements have blown up a little on TikTok as “that” emo band with absolutely gut-wrenching lyrics about depression, anxiety, and suicide. All of these subjects and experiences were written by Miranda first-hand. Sat in front of me, Miranda told me he is “mentally and emotionally better than I have ever been – truly”. But, surely, his wellness must come with a whole new set of fears and anxieties. If his crippling depression is what gave him the creative spark to write Daylily – a song that has been streamed almost 50 million times on Spotify – what if being “better” ruins his writing ability?
With a smirk, Miranda admitted: “That was something, going into this record, that I did worry about. I have never felt better than I do right now – and I am so grateful for that. I think that depression and my mental health issues will always be a part of me. They do make me who I am, but I don’t think they necessarily define everything about my personality.
“Regardless of if I’m singing about wanting to kill myself or not, I still have the experiences from the past … if I want to write a song about depression, I can pull from past experiences without having to be in it right now.”
Miranda added that going into Ruckus! he told himself that he didn’t want to sit down and write X amount of songs about how sad he has been. Instead, he took a “step back” and decided to write about whatever sprung to mind at that time. “If it’s about mental health stuff, cool,” he shrugged. “If it’s not, then it doesn’t matter. That’s why, on this record, there’s a lot of love songs. There’s a lot of happy, better-feeling songs.”
“Am I ever going to be 100 percent cured?” he almost winced. “No, I don’t believe you can cure a mental illness – I think you can treat it. [But] even if there were a world where I never got depressed again, I’m not going to go and specifically try and write about it because that’s what people want.
“If I’m f****ng happy and I feel great then all the songs are going to be about being happy.”
Movements – Ruckus! is out August 18, 2023.