Nightlands is the project of Dave Hartley. He's the bassist from The War On Drugs but he's also the leader of this band. Nightlands last released a full-length album in 2013. That one, the cosmic Oak Island, was reviewed by me here. I liked that record but I like the new one even more. It's called I Can Feel The Night Around Me and it's out on Friday via Western Vinyl.
Opener "Lost Moon" vaguely recalls Seventies-era Neil Young, while "Easy Does It" offers up a spry-yet-understated melody that is catchy too. The lovely "Only You Know" rides a vibe that's simultaneously close to an old Fifties ballad and a fairly-recent Flaming Lips number, while "Love's In Love" is a bit like a Spiritualized side condensed to its pure essence, blissed out balladry of the very best sort. "Moonbathing" and closer "Human Hearts" similarly refine the formula of the earlier Nightlands material to great effect, the band now nearly a minimalist act.
I think the highest praise a listener could give I Can Feel The Night Around Me is that Hartley seems more in command of the material this time around. Things seem more at ease on this one, the cuts more naturally inhabiting a certain kind of groove. There's not a lot of variety here but, frankly, I didn't mind as the tunes are lovely and expertly produced and performed.
[Photo: Dustin Condren]