The fall 2016 release of The Last Days LP by Fort Collins/Denver band Nadalands was the culmination of a 16-year musical trajectory. Since 2000, act principal John Lindenbaum (The Lonelyhearts, Rust Belt Music, The Gryd) has created 11 EPs and played more than 80 shows from San Francisco to Brooklyn. Eager to transition from solo shows to more dynamic live performances, Lindenbaum recruited drummer Benjamin Buttice (Sour Boy, Bitter Girl) and bassist Matt Schild (The Morning Clouds) in 2014. The trio made its recorded debut the following year with The Arbor Day EP, a four-song missive that inspired The Denver Post to call the band Fort Collins’ “best-kept musical secret.”
As a full band, Nadalands counterbalances dense lyricism with a chiming 12-string guitar, grumbling keyboards, sharp-edged kick and snare patterns, and expansive bass tones. An energetic live act, the band’s performances recall the post-rock soundscapes of Mogwai, the rollicking drive of The National, the melancholy jangle of The Smiths, and the nervous energy of The Rural Alberta Advantage.
The decidedly dark Nadalands songbook provides interrelated narratives of societal collapse, prophetic clairvoyance, imperial decline, haunting nostalgia, viral and volcanic apocalypse, opioid addiction, doomed romance, and the specter of declining health and vitality. Lindenbaum’s lyrics weave together references to poet Philip Larkin, riots in north London, The Chronic, Iceland’s 1783 Mist Hardships, war reporters, Florida real estate bubbles, The Rolling Stones, and the incessant trains passing through Fort Collins, Colorado.