Night Moves' Colored Emotions

Colored Emotions by Night Moves | 10.16.2012 via Domino

Minneapolis-based retro-rock group Night Moves will release their debut album, Colored Emotions, October 16 via Domino,  and this is an event I find myself actually counting down to.

When I first pressed play on this album and heard the electric guitar, bass and toms of Headlights (the quite mellow first single from the album), I was so digging it—then the vocals kicked in and threw me right off. Once the song progressed however, singer John Pelant’s rather one-of-a-kind voice strangely bore a hole into my ear and now its one I can’t seem to shake. I love it. This song makes for a strong start to the album; it displays the group’s signature retro-rock style and boldly features vocals with falsetto accents and harmonies.

Sometimes, no matter how much we adore ’em, our new-fave groups can really overdo that “special something” they’ve hit upon — so much so that the all other elements become lost. But happily Night Moves resist the urge to do that. Their instrumentation, and Pelant’s distinct vocals bolstered by beautiful back-up harmonies, complement one another well and really showcase the strengths of both.

Album highlights? The intro of Family Tongues is one of the strongest on the album, with subtle vocal harmonies and a combination of acoustic and electric guitars. The track progresses well into Old Friends, which made me cry around the time the banjo kicks in, though I may have been overtired and emotional. (Please notify me if you cry too, so I know I’m not alone in my sensitivities). The rolling toms and bass under Pelant’s higher vocals in Country Queen are remarkable, while Colored Emotions, the title track and last to appear on the album, conveys the most emotion. Featuring strings and the harmonica, every element complements the other—it’s the epitome of what I’ve been raving about.

For those who haven’t heard Night Moves yet, it will likely come down to whether Pelant pleases or irritates your ear. If you’re on the edge, I wouldn’t recommend Classical Hearts until you’re a convert. But know this: Each moment on this record showcases another level of the group’s creativity, and it is this strength that carries it and makes it an easy-to-love favorite.

By Erin Torrance, a recent Publishing graduate venturing into the world of music. Erin lives in a flea-market chic apartment in Toronto with the love of her life and best friend — her cat Bea.

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