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Night Moves talks process on new album and recent tour 

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The Minneapolis-based folk-psychedelic project Night Moves can be described as many things, some more outrageous than others. Some YouTube listeners liken the Night Moves discography to the soundtrack to a ’90s soap opera sex scene, or the music one would listen to while lunar gardening. The band’s third full-length album Can You Really Find Me (Domino Records) was released on June 28, and their North American tour just recently came to an end. Night Moves’ second-to-last stop was LuLu’s Downstairs in Manitou Springs on Sept. 26.

John Pelant, lead singer and guitarist of Night Moves talked with the Indy about his influences, songwriting process on Can You Really Find Me and what it’s like to be attached to the massive UK label that Domino Records has become.

Indy: How’s the tour going so far?
Pelant: It’s going pretty good, it’s cool that people are coming out to the shows and know the songs. Overall we’re all very pleased to be out here doing our thing.

Can you talk a little bit about the songwriting process on this new record?
I worked on it for maybe two years. I mostly demoed out everything to a fine extent at my little home recording space, and so all of the ideas were there when we went to do it in a studio. It takes a lot of time to record, and you have to be alone while you do it, and then you have to share it with the band members and go back to the drawing board. It just takes time, you know? And with us the tones are so important, we always have to get the right blend.

Would you say it’s an important aspect to your songwriting that you’re in a relaxed environment, such as your home studio, rather than a studio where you’re pressed for time?
Yeah, I would never even want to be on the clock. The feeling of, ‘Oh we have eight hours left,’ you know? It’s not even financially sound. It’s like you’re just sitting there waiting for something to happen while you’re paying for studio time, and with all the software — like Protools — you can just multi-track ‘til your heart’s content.
While listening to your new record, I hear a lot of psychedelic rock elements mixed with folk and Americana. Which do you think came first while crafting your sound?
The first thing I was drawn to was folk; I love the acoustic-guitar-harmonica-type thing. And then, when I grew up I thought, “Yeah, maybe I could blend these two things together to have a harmonious sonic relationship with both schools of thought.”

What’s your favorite thing about playing or listening to folk music?
I guess there’s this earnest, honest sort of emotion to it. It can be really bad too, but when it’s good, its great. I really don’t like a lot of acoustic folk rock, but when it’s good, it really does hit me in the feels.

How does it feel to be a part of Domino Records?
It kind of blows my mind sometimes when I think about it, but I mean, we’ve always had a good harmonious relationship between artist and label, and there’s a ton of artists on the label that we love and respect.

I stumbled upon a YouTube comment the other day on your music video “Carl Sagan” that said “The Night Moves music sounds like the music you would listen to if you were planting flowers on the moon.” What do you think of that?
I mean, I’ll go along with that. That’s cool. I was not aware of that comment. That sounds great. What’s wrong with that?

What kinds of importance does ’70s fashion have on your sound? I see influences not only in your music, but in the overall aesthetic of your videos and photo shoots.
I feel like we have always dressed like this since we we’re like teenagers, and we all have long hair, so sometimes people we go up to us and be like, ‘Oh, it looks like you guys are from the ’70s,’ but it’s not a conscious thing. It’s more of a natural progression.


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