I Can Feel the Night Around Me

Slow and steady prevails. Over the last several years, The War on Drugs’ bassist, Dave Hartley, has been occasionally releasing albums under the moniker Nightlands. I Can Feel the Night Around Me steps slightly away from the more lo-fi, raw approach of previous records toward a more polished, sturdy offering. Hartley’s voice is often bathed in harmonies, with trudging choral builds that replace standard pop hooks with something more meditative. Though constructed with synth bricks, Hartley’s tasteful approach leads to organic structures. Songs like “Lost Moon” blend smooth sax texture into the warm sonic wash, while “Only You Know” has the faintest 1950s saccharin pop feel with its big drum beat and counter-melody harmonies. It’s not all pop sweetness—“Depending on You” has a David Lynchian suspended, slow synth movement, but rather than exude a tension, it falls more into chillwave territory. It’s a mellow mover, an easy background sound for the easy summer days ahead.