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“Naughtland” by Nurses

“Naughtland” by Nurses

Live in Portland October 31 | Mississippi Studios

Nurses are back after a six-year hiatus, and their latest project, Naughtland, seems as though those years might have been spent in some strange kind of time dilation–drug-induced or digitally modulated–or some combination of both. Listening is kind of like being a heavily sedated patient hooked up to machines, experiencing flashes of lucidity, snippets of headlines and overheard dialogue amidst the fever dreams.

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Naughtland is something of a departure from their last album, Dracula, particularly in terms of the production, which is done here with a heavier hand. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to Aaron Chapman’s vocals, which are effected almost to the point of unintelligibility, often blending into the heavily synthesized backdrop and mechanized drums. It becomes less of an issue towards the end of the album, the high point being the unsettlingly beautiful vocoder solo/title-track “Naughtland” into the minimalist meditation “Heavy Money,” where the production seems to serve the songs thematically, rather than the other way around. The album certainly breaths a new depth into the project, and to the experimental art-pop aesthetic that Nurses have developed. »