Oak Island - SECRETLY CANADIAN
FILTER Grade: 76%
By Ken Scrudato on January 24, 2013
While genetic engineering can be loads of fun, Dave Hartley has decided instead to channel the notions of the family profession into aural pleasures. As Nightlands, he conjures a sound that indeed has something of a scientific undertone. Tracks like “Time & Place” and “So Far So Long” are ethereal, and full of longing, but rather than emotional urgency, there’s a curious calm about the proceedings—as if to say, I long for you, but I’ll also be doing just fine without. There are some mildly Talking Heads-y grooves, but there’s no getting away from the sonic relation to ’70s-period Eno, which works to startling effect on “Other Peoples Pockets.” And when he lets loose with a gloriously pretty and groovy synth-funk piece like “Rolling Down the Hill,” you just wish he would move farther in that direction and ditch the hackneyed MOR harmonies that are given too much place on the rest of Oak Island.