Release Date: May 5, 2017
Record label: Western Vinyl Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Dream Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
Philadelphia's the War on Drugs are a band that seem to thrive on mining the past with their moody, retro psych-rock. So it's not surprising when the band's members sneak away for solo projects that the end result is often cut from the same cloth, albeit in a slightly altered fashion. That's certainly the case with Nightlands, the side project from War on Drugs bassist Dave Hartley.
I Can Feel the Night Around Me, the third album from Nightlands, the Philadelphia-based project from longstanding War On Drugs member Dave Hartley, is a slippery investigation into the lonely and fragile act of dreaming. Conveyed in soft, warm tones of organ, synth and the occasional (but welcome) saxophone, Hartley borrows liberally in tone from the soft rock of the '70s. None of the components are particularly complex, but are layered to form a dense, nuanced whole.
I Can Feel the Night Around Me is the third LP from Nightlands, the solo project of Dave Hartley. By the time of its release, he'd be better known as bassist for the War on Drugs, who had a critical and commercial breakthrough in 2014 with Lost in the Dream. Using his 2013 sophomore LP, Oak Island, as a launching point, he glides into even mellower, more sentimental territory here for a set of brazenly unapologetic love songs.
Dave Hartley pinpointed the inspiration for his Nightlands project with the title of a 2012 song: " I Fell in Love With a Feeling ." Hartley--also the bassist for the War on Drugs --makes records that embrace the most atmospheric, ephemeral elements of pop and soft rock. Reverb-coated harmonies, gentle rhythms, and major-key melodies permeate his work, riding high on good vibes without digging for much substance beneath it. After all, his songs suggests, the longer you think about what you're feeling, the less you're really feeling it.