Yawn, Nightlands, Houses | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Wed., Jan. 26, 9:30 p.m. 2011

NIGHTLANDS Late last year Philadelphia's Dave Hartley—a member of the War on Drugs, among other groups—released Forget the Mantra (Secretly Canadian), the debut full-length by his solo project, Nightlands. He says that many of the musical ideas on the album came to him in dreams, and that he logged them on a tape recorder kept by his bed. From the sound of it, a few of those dreams must've involved Brian Wilson: Nightlands' surfeit of overdubbed vocal harmonies owes a clear debt to the Beach Boys, and Hartley even includes a Beach Boys cover, "'Til I Die," with damped guitar licks and tack-piano parts that could've been swiped from Pet Sounds. Of course, indie rock is hardly suffering from a shortage of acts that emphasize elaborate harmony vocals, from Panda Bear to Fleet Foxes, and Nightlands will never be confused with the Beach Boys—Hartley's pop confections are trippier, spacier, and way more lo-fi. There wouldn't be much worth remarking upon in his dense swirl of choral singing, acoustic guitar, tinny keyboard, rickety drum machine, and spacious percussion if his carefully structured, multipartite tunes weren't so catchy. Yawn headlines; Nightlands and Houses open.

— Peter Margasak


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