NIGHTLANDS open for Efterklang tonight (Thursday, March 21) at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club as part of CMF. See listings. Rating: NNN
The War on Drugs are primarily Philadelphia songwriter Adam Granduciel's project, but they've become better known lately for introducing the world to their former guitarist, Kurt Vile. Lesser-known bassist Dave Hartley has also set out on a solo(ish) project, Nightlands. But those expecting the rootsy Tom Pettyisms of Vile and Granduciel won't find them on this sophomore album, which takes its cues from 70s soft rock bands like Seals & Croft and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Layering one-man harmonies atop gauzy, chillwavy nostalgia and warm home production, Nightlands sound more like a studio project than a living, breathing band. The album is rich in texture but light on memorable melodies. Occasionally, like on the warm, trumpet-laced I Fell In Love With A Feeling, Hartley finds a hook as pretty as the production. More of that would be nice.
Top track: I Fell In Love With A Feeling