I’m obsessed with the music of Nightlands. David Hartley is a one man band, performing every instrument and every vocal on all his recordings. And when it’s all done, he’s birthed 300 clouds that rise high and sing in massive harmonies. It’s hard to remember that out there, in the world, Nightlands isn’t a bigger name. It’s hard to believe his music needs introducing when all of it sounds like it breathes from every corner of the compass. That is to say, an infinite number. If it wasn’t his debut album Forget the Mantra, then it was his “All the Way” 7”. And now it’s a FREE EP entitled Covers, which sets Mr. Hartley on a previously etched path.
There are two covers. The first is “Big Louise”, which takes Scott Walker’s (of The Walker Brothers) sorrowful painting of a woman lost, and tweaks it only a bit, to become a whole group lamenting the fallen. It’s faithful to the original in the best ways. It manages to sound morose and beautiful at the same time, as if all the green soldiers from the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle came together to sing her melting. The second is a cover of Lindsey Buckingham’s (of Fleetwood Mac) 1982 pop hit “Trouble”. The Nightlands version adds exactly what the song needed: depth. Now that it’s become what it is, it seems perfectly clear the song just needed vast backing vocals and superior streaks of synth. It’s hard to believe his music needs introducing.
You can listen to and download “Trouble” below, but then go to the Nightlands Bandcamp page to download both covers for free!
(Covers is available now from Secretly Canadian)