The Moonless Night

L-R: Adam Arcuragi (photo: Brienne Rose) and Jesse Epstein (photo: Yoni Goldberg)

In 1999, a friend and I were traveling late at night from Los Angeles back to Phoenix. I dozed off; he took a wrong turn. I woke, disconcerted, in an endless desert landscape with no recognizable landmarks, not even the moon to light the way. I rolled down the window and let the cool night air drift in — there had been a light rain earlier in the evening, and that most intoxicating of desert perfumes enveloped us: creosote and wet earth. It was surreal, and it was glorious. We drove on for an hour, until we finally found our way back to the highway and home.

That friendship didn’t last, but the memory of that intoxicating hour cocooned in a dark, desert dreamscape has stayed with me. The Moonless Nights’ new EP feels like that dreamy hour.

The Moonless Nights EP cover

The Moonless Nights EP; cover artwork by Hannah Stone

The Moonless Nights is a duet musical collaboration between Adam Arcuragi and Jesse Epstein, recorded at the Moon Recording Company studio in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, in early 2020.

According to the duo, they came together to write on a suggestion from a mutual friend after Arcuragi had been ruminating on his admiration of the Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions album, Bavarian Fruit Bread. As they tell the story, in the dining room at Musso & Frank, pointing out which table was Charlie Chaplin’s, their mutual friend insisted that the two sit down together to see what they might dream up. They said that “Sometimes it just comes together,” and that The Moonless Nights just came together, with mutual admiration for similar influences, and strengths in songwriting and melody from their years of writing individually; “the EP happened quickly and with ease.”

Give The Moonless Nights a listen…maybe in your car, at night, with the windows down… If you get lost for a little while, well, that’s all right. You’ll have good company.

The EP is available now, wherever music is sold or streamed.

Kathryn M. Miller is editor-in chief at CITYSunTimes. 

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