Nightlands was the solo project of Philadelphia musician Dave Hartley (not to be confused with the Oscar and Grammy-nominated musician of the same name). Hartley was also the bassist of the band The War on Drugs (a group with a membership that included noted indie musician Kurt Vile) and his music as Nightlands was not a vast departure. Hartley's 2010 debut Forget The Mantra sounded like the rainy day, indoor music-to-read-by cousin to the early morning road trip soundtrack of The War on Drugs' 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues. With comparatives and relationships like these, he understandably rose through the internet's music chaff quickly. In August 2010 he self-released the song "300 Clouds," which was featured on By September he had acquired distribution through Secretly Canadian Records, also the home of his aforementioned band. In November the label released a vinyl version of Forget The Mantra, an album based loosely off of Hartley's recollections of his dreams (the musician kept a dream journal that included both textual recollections as well as inspired musical ideas; these documents and notes formed the basis for the album). Hartley was also a known for his interest in sci-fi stories and images and blogged about them for the Secretly Canadian web site.

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