The War On Drugs bassist Dave Hartley returned to his solo project Nightlands to produce another album of experimental dream pop soundscapes. The new record, Moonshine, prominently features Hartley’s layered harmonies carrying political sentiments over a symphony of soft, digital noises. Title track “Moonshine” is out now, with the full album available July 15th via Western Vinyl.
“This was never intended to be an overtly political record,” Hartley says in a press statement. “But I often find myself just consumed with anger [over current events]. I decided to just let that come out, and it manifested itself lyrically.” Listeners could be forgiven for almost missing the frustration in Hartley’s sparse-but-grand compositions, if not for the harsh juxtaposition he makes with the anthem “America the Beautiful” and events of mass shootings referenced on the title track. Nightlands’ meditative sounds and grim lyrics demand repeat listens in order to reconcile them, but they make a striking statement.
Although Moonshine was produced by Hartley in isolation, War On Drugs bandmates Robbie Bennet, Anthony Lamarca, Eliza Hardy Jones, and Charlie Hall helped fill out the record. Industry veterans Frank Locrasto (Cass McCombs, Fruit Bats) and Adam McDaniel (Angel Olsen, Avey Tare) also lent a hand.
Listen to “Moonshine” below alongside a film produced by Daniel Fox and Ray Lynch. You can preorder the record here.