Have you ever listened to a record front to back, reached the end and thought, “wait, maybe I wasn’t listening close enough, I know I missed something” and given it another go?
It’s likely you’ve had a similar thought at some point. If you have, then you’ll understand the feeling found with each listen through Nightlands’ latest record Moonshine.
Dave Hartley, taking the moniker Nightlands, is no stranger to successful musical endeavors, however, being a musician and new father (twice over) over the last couple of years brought about a new sense of balance and pace of life. The resulting body of work culminates in a stratospheric drift that is the eleven tracks of Moonshine, striking a pace and viscosity that soars and breathes in relaxing salve of electronic and analog pairing.
While Moonshine exists in an intimately poetic simplicity, it becomes more and more complex as you dive into each song. Aiding in the complexity are friends and fellow musicians Joseph Shabason, Robbie Bennet, Anthony Lamarca, Eliza Hardy Jones, Charlie Hall, and Frank Locrasto, as well as producer Adam McDaniel. Feel free to search those musicians and how they all fit together outside of this record if you wish, but I’ll refrain as Moonshine is and should be appreciated as Nightlands. Each track within the low-key ambiance of drum machines and spaced horns of Moonshine becomes the audio equivalent of laying on the grass, staring at the clouds, and mentally drifting into a warm safe space. The songs span an array of influential nods in nuanced execution to culminate in a sonically vast experience played out over eleven tracks packed with rich harmonies that lean to classic R&B and Jazz while maintaining a wholly present sound. Bassist by trade, Hartley shifts his skillset into audible visionary with delicately placed vocal builds and electronic minimalistic endeavors as the record progresses. This is a record that feels as though it was made for just you and will speak to you as the same.
Moonshine is eleven chapters portrayed in an absolutely stunning dream sequence. It is an escape finely crafted on Nightlands’ ability to linger on a moment, a harmony, or chord that seems to last just slightly longer than the reality of the execution. Whether to recapture the alluring vibes of Nightlands or to explore the audible expanse for something you missed the last run through, Moonshine is a record well worth the listen and repeat listen.