NIGHT MOVES / LORD HURON (Night Moves Release Show)
Presented by City Pages "Picked 2 Click" and 89.3 The Current
Twin Cities psych-rockers Night Moves will release their debut album Colored Emotions on October 9 via Domino, with production and mixing by Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Beechwood Sparks, Devendra Banhart). The band's newly unveiled "Country Queen," like previously shared "Headlights", is cosmically expansive and yet twangily intimate. Listen below, and catch them on the road this fall with Los Angeles folk-popper Lord Huron. [Spin]
FIRST LISTEN: Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams - Stream the whole album via NPR
For such a patently American locale, the Twin Cities have lacked a remarkable group that evokes the American rock canon in a classic manner for a long time. Enter Night Moves. Formed in 2009 by guitarist and vocalist John Pelant, bassist Micky Alfano and multi-instrumentalist Mark Ritsema, Night Moves is a distinctly original concoction. Their honey-dipped sound seethes with a kind of down-home tenderness - and like the best glittering music - the arrangements are colossal in shape. Night Moves’ powerful debut Colored Emotions is this Minneapolis group’s first album.
The three core members of Night Moves first met at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Following the tangential fits and starts typical of early music projects (including a detour to college and back), the ensemble took definite shape as Night Moves and is the crowning achievement to the long-standing collaboration between John Pelant and Mark Ritsema, who first met as freshman. Pelant’s taste for Dylan, Blind Lemon Jefferson, et. al, would prove most propitious for their future work together in Night Moves. Ritsema describes himself as being into electronic music at the time – a Daft Punk fan – when he met budding folknik Pelant. Pelant throughout high school would write some solo material but hadn’t been keen on sharing. Whatever musical differences there were between them faded as the motivation to play music together persisted over the next years.
In 2009, with the group at last solidified with the addition of bassist Micky Alfano, Night Moves began the long, astounding odyssey that was recording their meticulous debut album Colored Emotions. Nearly two years in the making, the debut exudes the craft and professionalism of a seasoned band. It was these painstakingly self-recorded tracks Night Moves prepared themselves that attracted interest from Domino, further developed with the appointment of studio guru Thom Monahan to take the album and set it free, so to speak.
Pelant’s tone-perfect vocals on Colored Emotions serves Night Moves not just as its lyrical core but also its glittering adornment. With an extensive vocal range, his voice ventures where lone guitar solos cannot. Hence, there’s no cornball guitar hero antics in Night Moves. Instead, they carefully built their songs around strong acoustic and rhythmic grounds, the clarity of crystal-clear production, and Pelant’s deft howl. The reverb of hollow-body guitars, the bright wash of crash cymbals, the haze of harmonica and organ tremolo – this is the album’s bedrock and it shines like gold. The songs of Night Moves conjure a spiritual energy only twenty-somethings dislodged by adversity and isolation could produce. An album like Colored Emotions seems intent to turn inward to create a joyous universe within its own boundaries. Certainly, the group’s musical abilities are innate without ever being too self-conscious about it. It’s as if Colored Emotions came second nature to them and the arrival of the rest of us took them by surprise. [Anthony Atlas]
The debut album Lonesome Dreams from praised LA-based band Lord Huron (out now on IAMSOUND Records) continues to garner widespread praise—USA Today explains, “the indie-folk band paints a vivid landscape with upbeat, warm melodies and the dreamy vocals,” while The New York Times describes the music as, “pretty, multilayered Americana strumming and harmonizing.” Lord Huron was featured in several year end lists, including NPR Music’s “10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012,” as Esquire called them “the last true New Band You Need to Hear This Year.”
Originally a musical and visual solo project by lead singer and Michigan native-turned-Angeleno Ben Schneider, collaborators now include Mark Barry (percussion, vocals), Miguel Briseno (bass, percussion), and Tom Renaud (guitar, vocals). Schneider started playing music as a child—most often on summer nights around the campfire on Lake Huron. He went on to study art in college and lived in France and New York before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue a career in the visual arts. Schneider’s passion for art and music are often intertwined, and he has composed music for various visual art projects over the years. His work is continually inspired by his outdoor explorations, landscape and water in particular. In 2010, Schneider self-released his first EP, Into the Sun, online, complete with original artwork. The songs gained traction and Schneider set to work recruiting musicians to help him translate the recordings into a live performance.