Music previews: Nightlands shares links with The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile and Bon Iver

By Columbus Alive
From the May 30, 2013 edition

When not playing bass for Philadelphia’s gloriously droning classic rock revivalists The War on Drugs (the band that once featured Kurt Vile), Dave Hartley records as Nightlands.

Hartley’s solo project, which headlines Ace of Cups this Wednesday, conjures a mood similar to his other band’s retro dream state Springsteen homage, but stylistically, there’s nothing Boss about it.

That’s not to say Nightlands’ Secretly Canadian debut Oak Island is bad — actually, it’s great — just that its palette has little to do with grizzled heartland guitar anthems. It’s much more in line with Bon Iver’s second record, the one that delved deep into the dark side of ’80s lite pop. Luxuriant harmonies, shimmering arrangements and digitized rhythms abound. The project started with Hartley capturing ideas that struck in his sleep, and you can tell.

Bummers and We Are the Mountains, two new Columbus bands that draw from members of Jackie & the Stabbs and Maza Blaska respectively, will open the show.