In the mundane details of everyday living there is an always-present otherness. It’s in that otherness that something magical can occur. It’s in that sitting with those details that we can perceive a larger sense, and understanding of the whole. Sitting with Can You Really Find Me, the new album from Night Moves, we sit with the magical details that surround us in the ordinary world.
Night Moves driving force of John Pelant and Micky Alfano return here with a sequence of tracks that take a significant step beyond their already refined vision. At times breezy, there’s a soft psychedelic vibe that underpins the process. Produced by Spoon founding member Jim Eno, the collection is fortified by a depth of tone that sounds like natural polish. Few synthesized elements distinguish this adult pop approach to craft. And while this album was recorded in a bleak Minneapolis winter there’s a definite sense that producer and artists set everything in amber light, and aimed toward the sun.
The absence of a question mark in the enquiring album title is a clue to the ambiguities that Night Moves explore throughout the tracks. Some songs start like statements, and end up with a line of questioning. Other, more obviously searching songs end up delivering clear statements of a condition. “Can ya really hold just what you want?” is a line that hangs heavy with meaning, but that is delivered with a lightness of touch that makes it all the more beguiling.
It’s this pursuit of selective permanence – a line that hopes to retain valuable lessons, and let go of pains, that colors everything here. This is an album that comes to turn with some harsh, and simultaneously beautiful realizations. We need darkness for light, pain for relief.
Tracks like album opener ‘Mexico’, and penultimate tune ‘Angelina’ extract the very best of the band’s chemistry. There’s a confidence here that we’ve not heard from Night Moves before – and it’s pretty fucking good to hear.
Sonically there are no jolts. This is a profoundly easy album to sit with and enjoy. That’s not to say it’s without challenge. ‘Coconut Grove’, ‘Waiting for a Symphony’, ‘Saving the Dark’ all bring moments of particularly surprising melody. It’s strange to hear something so simple be so devious and delightful. Progressions are easy to sing along with, but they’re unique and will spin a mind out much like Night Moves obvious heroes of Fleetwood Mac and Brian Wilson.
There will be edgier albums released this week. Few will have the body of Can You Really Find Me. Confident, coercive, and emotionally seductive – this is the kind of thing that sneaks psychedelia into a playlist and makes the party all the better.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ELISE TAYLOR
HURRY – BUY – NIGHT MOVES MUSIC