Oak Island

> > Jan 22 2013

Nightlands - Oak Island
By Michael EdwardsEvery so often, the War On Drugs demonstrate their gauzier side, and based upon Oak Island, it would appear that the main ringleader behind those moments is their bassist, Dave Hartley. His solo project, Nightlands, lives for such moments, spinning a dreamy web on album number two. The record has more in common with Animal Collective than Hartley's usual group, or more accurately, with Panda Bear's contributions. Every song is awash with layer upon layer of vocal harmonies, so even the more frenetic tracks have a spaced-out quality. When he keeps things under control, as on the Tropicália-tinged "I Fell in Love with a Feeling," Oak Island has a deftness that makes it hard to resist, but some songs disappear under the weight of everything that's transpiring. As soon as the airiness feels laboured, Hartley's fighting a losing battle and until he shifts the focus to pop sensibilities, Nightlands will be the lesser of the groups he performs with.
(Secretly Canadian)
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