There’s plenty to learn from Colored Emotions, the cohesive, fully realized debut from Minneapolis trio Night Moves. With a sub 35-minute running time and some songs as short as one minute, Colored Emotions demands to be listened to in its entirety: It’s full of moving parts and the type of effortless transitions between songs that makes the album much more than the sum of its parts.
Night Moves cares enough about structure and sequencing to make a record — not a collection of singles. The calm country/soul outro on “Country Queen” leads directly into the moody “In The Rounds”, which spills into “Only A Child”, a song that builds off the previous two with mercurial hooks and a synth chorus– a progression which, like the record, only gets better as it goes on.
Colored Emotions is reverb-loving indie rock that feels both homeless and also a product of its own geography. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the group’s sound, there are moments throughout the album with discernible reference points. The record recalls the ’70s R&B sounds that brought Prince to prominence in the ’80s and the roots-leaning while leaning on the pop-country flavor of The Jayhawks and Golden Smog in the ’80s and ’90s. The Twin Cities leave a clear impression on Colored Emotion without weighing down or burdening the group with its many sounds.
The greatest pitfall to a record like Colored Emotions is the looming threat of it turning into record-collector rock: music whose personality gets lost under its own influences. But thanks to attentive songwriting, songs like “Old Friends”, with its drama and weight, its pop melodies and high-reaching vocals, mark Night Moves as a band as much than just a collection of influences.
Essential Tracks: “Country Queen”, “Old Friends”