It’s been four years too many since Night Moves released their debut album Colored Emotions and followers of the Minneapolis-based psych-country band, myself included, are itching with anticipation for Pennied Days, their second studio album. With the release of their single “Denise, Don’t Wanna See You Cry,” which was met with endless praise on social media including YouTube and SoundCloud, fans have been finding the March 25th release date a bit too out of reach.
Fortunately, the wait is over, as the album will be made available by the end of this week. And good news for those eager fans: the rest of the album does not disappoint. With a myriad of lilting vocals from John Pelant and rhythms drawing deep from the roots of rock and roll (George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, anyone?), listeners will find themselves reminiscing the rich feeling of finding oneself in the midst of melodies that are bright and sunny, yet deceptively so.
Pelant hints at a more refined progression of vocal and instrumental sound in Pennied Days while continuing to maintain the spacey vocal tones that garnered attention in Colored Emotions. Queue in “Carl Sagan,” the album-topping track: a foot-tapping (or if you’re like me, a “muscle takes over mind,”) kind of song. Amidst Pelant’s enchanting falsetto (like “Frankie Valli from hell,” he says) are nine additional tracks featuring the folky, laid-back material listeners have come to expect from Night Moves, including track “Alabama,” a personal favorite of mine subject to constant loop.
If you were a fan of Colored Emotions or you simply enjoy densely texturized pieces of music, Pennied Days is for you. The album stays true to the band’s desired sound and develops a steady accumulation of small flourishes that, as a whole, round up the record’s alluring and intricate sound. For an album that was born in the dark of Pelant’s basement, Pennied Days brings to light some of the most complicated of personal journeys with a wealth of captivatingly sophisticated recordings.
Album review by Suzy Kersey