Night Moves Debuts Strong Sophomore Release “Pennied Days”

19 May

Minneapolis has been in the news lately regarding the untimely death of rock legend, Prince. In this post, we’ll put the focus on the Twin Cities for a much more positive reason — because they’re the home base for an exciting young band, Night Moves.

Named after the song recorded by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Night Moves’ indie psych-rock sound doesn’t resemble Seger’s foundational rock and roll much. Instead, one thinks about other classic artists such as Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren, Kurt Vile, Fleetwood Mac, and more recently, The War on Drugs.

Pennied Days is Night Moves’ sophomore album. Band members, John Pelant, Micky Alfano and Jared Isabella, keep the melodies sunny and bright, while sometimes dealing with darkness in the lyrics.

The first three songs are segued together — flowing into one another in the way a DJ would assemble a set of songs. The album starts with “Carl Sagan,” where Night Moves really sounds like Hall & Oates. Pelant’s vocals are near the top of his register, bleeding into a full falsetto in the chorus. We’re swept along with the dreamy synth soundscape and woozy guitar.

Next, dissolve quickly to the second track, “Denise, Don’t Wanna See You Cry.” Pulsing and swirling synths are driven by a train-like rhythm, created by the bass and drums.

The initial set of three songs concludes with a very different-sounding “Leave Your Light On.” The guitars here are bigger and janglier, tending toward a “big sky rock” flavor. A range of artists from Neil Young to Kurt Vile would be comfortable covering this tune.

The fourth song, “Border on Border” opens with a progression of bright piano chords that could be taken directly from a Todd Rundgren classic. The rest of the song falls in line — with repeated runs from a mournful electric guitar, supported by synth strings.

Track 5, “Kind Luck,” is a rock ballad with strummed guitar and simple rhythm. It builds into a bigger arrangement over time — and is the closest thing to a tune that Bob Seger might possibly have done.

The nine-song Pennied Days closes with “Only to Live in your Memories.” It features melancholy swirling synths, electric piano and guitar — and is reminiscent of a slow song from MGMT — with plaintive vocals that sound a bit like Fleetwood Mac.

Night Moves is a band that’s growing and maturing quickly. Pennied Days is certainly well worth a close listen for indie fans.

 

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