Nightlands is the solo project of The War on Drugs’ bassist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley.
I Can Feel the Night Around Me, the third album from Philadelphia's Nightlands, showcases Dave Hartley's finely tuned ability to layer his voice and conjure some of the most beautiful and elaborate virtual choirs in modern music. If his first two records were vocal layering experiments, his third stands as Hartley's thesis statement: "I was determined to use vocal stacking to enable my songwriting, not shroud or obscure it."
He recorded most of the album alone in a cold warehouse basement, which he affectionately calls The Space -- it's where The War on Drugs (of whom Hartley has been a core member for the past decade) formerly rehearsed and stored their equipment. "The dissonance between the sound of the album and the atmosphere in which it was recorded is pretty striking," Hartley says. Indeed the music seems more geographically inspired by the microclimates of the Lost Coast and the moonrises of Big Sur than the post-industrial cityscape of North Philadelphia. Perhaps his periodic westward sojourns and healthy obsessions with mid-career Beach Boys albums and Denis Johnson's Already Dead: A California Gothic were influencing him more than he was aware.