Night Moves Straddle the Rural and the Celestial

Their name belies the streak of Americana that runs through them

In 2013, Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning portrayed two Oregon environmentalists planning to blow up a hydroelectric dam. The movie was called "Night Moves."

A year prior, John Pelant and Micky Alfano released their debut album, "Colored Emotions," on Domino Records.

"This is f-----, this is career ending s---, man," Pelant told me over the phone on Friday, describing his reaction to the movie's release.

"Already we're in Bob Seger's shadow," he added.

In 1976, Seger released his ninth studio album, which was also called "Night Moves." Divining the title of the lead single off of that album shouldn't be too hard.

Fortunately, none of these titular coincidences had much of an effect on anything for the band, and maybe that's because the origins of the name were largely internal.

"Now I'll follow you / Night moves, night moves us / As it moves us too," Pelant sings on the song "Country Queen," from the band's first record.

Originally, Pelant and Alfano had been playing under a less flattering name from their high school days, so Night Moves seemed like a pretty good alternative for a Halloween show they were scheduled to play. From there, it just kind of stuck.

Night Moves' new album, "Can You Really Find Me," is out now.

Uncontextualized, the name belies the streak of Americana that runs through the Minneapolis-based quartet, signaling more abstrusity than accessibility. But Night Moves have managed to straddle a line between the rural and the celestial -- one most recently drawn, with note, by the War on Drugs.

It's a similar sort of melding of mystery with familiar that made David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" such a cultural phenomenon. Fitting, then, that Chris Mulkey, who played Hank Jennings in the series, stars in the band's music video for "Strands Align."

"Someone on the [music video] director's crew knew him [Jennings]. They showed Chris the song ... pitched him the idea, and he liked the song," Pelant said.

"I didn't know who he was. I didn't even know he was going to be in the video. I tried watching 'Twin Peaks', but I can't get through it," he added.

Night Moves headline Soda Bar on Sunday, Sept. 22. Get tickets here.

Rutger Ansley Rosenborg is an editor at NBC's SoundDiego. Find out more here.

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