Artist of the Month

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October 2015
Shelf Life
"Everyone Make Happy
Everyone Make Happy, the debut LP from Shelf Life, via Lefse Records, finds an absorbing lyrical yet comforting instrumental balance. Scott Leitch (ex-Pirouette/recent drummer for Alex G) cultivates songs that gently sway with internal warmth, while placing listeners in a deeply personal, somber state.
Space-warping synths smoothly land on the surface in “The Curse,” the initial introduction to Everyone Make Happy. Those glowing synths fade to the background as the airy, easily-assimilated acoustic guitar provides shimmers of daylight onto the song’s anguished lyrical tone - “bathe in sister’s blood/talk to the ghost of my dad’s mom/about nothing but heaven and the cancer in her gut.”
Pushed by its percussion, “Mark II” delivers what appears as subtle instrumentation, penetrating beyond the surface as a tight bedroom-pop sound. What starts drearily - “wake me up, when my lungs, start to pump normally” - lifts the shades to the point of optimism. “There’s always something in the sunlight,” riding a casual, almost accidental groove along the way. The album continuously stares directly into sadness, observing a very real place of grief. In “Creature” with its road-worn, country-folk twang , Leitch addresses the questioning nature of a sickness as a somber cloud hangs overhead. “I ask myself what my Father would do/he’d fold his hands lean to belief/but the creature inside him is not inside of me.”
“Low Key Lumber Theft” forebodingly spirals forward as the last dashes of daylight fall below the horizon. The guitar crisply cuts through dusk, venturing further out of sight as it gains momentum and then coolly concludes. With a daydreaming-psych vibe, “Time Traveler” moves into a nostalgic familiar space, which although consoling - “I am meeting the past/it is just how I thought/I have found what I lost” - still cuts - “You had gone away.” An anecdotal throwback, “Double Dare” soaks into your mind with its direct lyricism and catchy melodies, a la Alex G, while “Sinking Just Right” lulls you into a submissive calm of internal self-doubt - “does everybody hate me, just a little, little, little bit” - drifting until your “sinking just right.”
This album delicately balances the weight of emotional darkness with a glimpse of the light, from outside pushing in through the cracks. - Michael Colavita

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New Music Video: "So Far So Long" - Nightlands

Below is a new music video from Nightlands, a.k.a. Dave Hartley, for the track "So Far So Long," off his latest album Oak Island (Secretly Canadian). It premiered yesterday over at Noisey, and was directed by David S. Kessler, who filmed the footage in northern Iceland as part of the international exhibit, "Due North," opening January 2014.


Nightlands Supported by Ape School & Our Griffins at JB’s May 31

This upcoming Nightlands show should require a pillow to enter. The multi-talented Dave Hartley transports listeners to the place just between dreams and sleep with free-flowing choral effects with ambient noise. In fact, that’s where he came up with most of the ideas for Nightlands’ tracks: recording inspiration that came to him in REM cycle. However, his most recent release Oak Island finds him wandering a poppier side of music, but it still feels like poppy fields are scattered throughout the landscape. (BTW: I heard that there might be some live choral arrangements this evening.) Opening for Nightlands is Ape School, a solo(ish)-project from Michael Johnson. The band gives an oft tongue-in-cheek experiment in lyricism, resulting in a truly fun musical experience. Also taking the stage is Our Griffins, fronted by Dennis Joseph “DJ” Brown, who provides a gentle and soft-spoken sound that packs an emotional punch.  Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $12, 8pm, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell

New Music Video: "Born to Love" - Nightlands

Below is a new music video from Nightlands, a.k.a. Dave Hartley, for the track "Born to Love" off his latest release Oak Island. It was directed by She Policeman (who was inspired by Andy Warhol and the song, itself), using footage from another video filmed with an old VHS camcorder. Nightlands also just announced a string of headlining dates that will make a local stop on Friday, May 31 at Johnny Brenda's. BTW: Send out some good vibes to Hartley this weekend because he'll be competing at the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association's 2013 Match-Play Championship in Pittburgh, alongside four-time world champion Bowen Kirens and pinball champion/former '76 Todd MacCulloch, who both personally invited him.


Congrats to Nightlands' Dave Hartley & Luke Bonner for Their Successful #LetBonnerShoot Campaign!

Congrats to Dave Hartley, a.k.a. Nightlands, and Luke Bonner on their successful #LetBonnerShoot campaign! The San Antonio Spurs announced yesterday that Matt Bonner will be competing in the Foot Locker Three-point Contest (which will be taking place on Saturday, February 16) at the 62nd NBA All-Star Game weekend. The guys ran a brilliant grassroots social media campaign that garnered support from high-profile folks like Arcade Fire and Eva Longoria. The people have spoken, and we were heard - cheers fellas!


New Track: "Nico" - Nightlands

Nightlands, a.k.a. Dave Hartley, recently premiered the track "Nico" from his latest record Oak Island. You can listen to the album version below, and check out Hartley's interview with ARTINFO as well as the vocals only and instrumental version of the song HERE. He'll be heading on tour next month opening for Efterklang.




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