NATION OF LANGUAGE
Share new single ‘A Word & A Wave’ Reflecting on the simplest of human connections
Watch the video HERE
Follows previous single ‘A Fractured Mind’ currently on BBC6 Music’s B-List
New album A Way Forward out 5th November 2021
UK Tour set for January 2022 - Tickets on sale HERE
(Photo credit: Robin Laananen (Hi-res here))
“There are nods to the early 80s, like Depeche Mode." - BBC6 Music, Steve Lamacq
“Synth pop that is inspired equally by M83 and William Basinski, the group's songwriting has a clinical edge... marked by glorious restraint.” - CLASH
"'Across That Fine Line' brings a whole new level of confidence to their ‘80s-inspired sound.” - Consequence
“The phantoms of the best '80s pop band that never was, Brooklyn's Nation of Language continue to prove they are incapable of writing a bad song.” - Gigwise
“Nation Of Language have unearthed a vibrant space of their own.” - NME (4 Stars)
“The synth-pop group offers a remarkably assured debut, with 10 pristine pieces that eschew dramatics for concision.” - Pitchfork
“(Ian) Devaney dreamt up an early years greatest hits for an artist that never existed.” - Stereogum (Album Of The Week)
Nation of Language focus on how the simplest of human gestures can take on such significance with their new single ‘A Word & A Wave’ which is out today (9th September 2021). This new track is taken from the Brooklyn trio’s upcoming sophomore album, A Way Forward which will be released 5th November 2021. Pre-order here.
Discussing ‘A Word & A Wave’ songwriter and vocalist Ian Devaney says, “I was thinking a lot about simple social gestures and how randomly important they can be in key moments. How empowering it can feel when someone remembers your name; how slighted you can feel when someone you only kind-of know passes by without acknowledgment."
He continues, “The song is a kind of vignette on someone who desperately wants to be the one that makes everyone feel good and has in turn neglected themself. Trying as hard as they can to be there for people who are barely in their lives, hoping that this will bring meaning and fulfilment, when it really just ends up leaving them emotionally spent and scattered.”
“When writing the song, I kept finding myself imagining this person living in Portland, Maine,” noted Devaney. “It's never mentioned in the lyrics, but I found myself wishing I could have conveyed the rest of the scene I pictured - a warmly lit room on a calm overcast evening in a small coastal city. When it came time to make the video I saw our chance and decided we would journey up there and follow that vision as much as we could.”
Having returned to the stage last month, for a sold out, hometown performance, Nation Of Language are finally due to perform in Europe and the UK in January 2022 with tickets on sale now HERE. It is sure to be worth the wait (full list of dates below).
Following singles ‘Wounds Of Love’, ‘Across That Fine Line’, and ‘This Fractured Mind’ which currently sits on BBC6 Music’s B-List, ‘A Wound & A Wave’ is another standout from new album A Way Forward. An album that was only made possible due to the marriage of members Ian and Aiden, and registering for the funds to make a record.
A Way Forward will be released 5th November 2021.
A Way Forward out 5th November 2021 Pre-order the album HERE Tracklist:
01. In Manhattan 02. Across That Fine Line 03. Wounds Of Love 04. Miranda 05. The Grey Commute 06. This Fractured Mind 07. Former Self 08. Whatever You Want 09. A Word & A Wave 10. They’re Beckoning
About Nation Of Language:
Nation of Language released their debut album, Introduction, Presence, in May of 2020. It took roughly four full years to make. Not because they lacked ideas, but mostly because they lacked any resources to complete it. They had a very clear idea of what they wanted Nation Of Language to be after finding a lot of inspiration from bands like OMD and early punk/new-wave records, but the cost of going into a proper studio and putting an album together seemed so far out of reach. Whenever they could scrounge up a few hundred extra bucks beyond their rent and basic needs they’d go in and just make singles. Once completed, months would pass before they’d feel like they could afford to make the next one, so they were just a band releasing sporadic singles for what seemed like an eternity.
“It wasn’t until Aidan and I decided to get married that we saw a path to finally finishing an album,” notes Devaney. “We had a very low-key ceremony, and requested that rather than physical wedding gifts, our guests pitch into a fund so we could keep recording. I’m sure it came off as a bit naive, and nearly every person we asked this of tried politely to imply it was a terrible idea or that we should go on a honeymoon instead, but perhaps sensing our determination (or our desperation) they went along with our plan and we ended up with enough money to go in and finish an album.”
When in the studio they had no real idea what they were doing in that environment, but looking back that may have been to their advantage. Abe Seiferth helped them figure things out on that front to make the record sound as they had imagined in their heads (better, honestly). Once the album was nearing completion, they cobbled together some tour dates, sunk their last few bucks into pressing some copies on vinyl and buying blank shirts to screen print on their living room floor, and prepared to put the album out themselves.
Then, as we all know, 2020 looked nothing like they imagined it might.
Three dates into a March 2020 tour the pandemic sent them home. In the fog of what was transpiring, they initially tried delaying the album release by a month, hoping things might become safer by then. It didn’t take long to realise that was highly unlikely, and it began to sink in that intentionally leaving yourself no room for a plan B can get a bit scary.
Without the ability to go play shows they really didn’t understand how anyone would ever hear the album, but by some twist of fate, people did. They sent it out to a handful of writers and radio DJs who they’d hoped would listen, but who really had no reason to hype up their record. It came as a shock when they started hearing back that they really dug the songs and wanted to help spread the word. Texts started coming in from friends saying they’d heard it on their local station, or saw a write up in an indie publication, and somehow, before they knew it, they were sold out of the first vinyl pressing within a week of its release.
“More people than we could count would send us some version of the same message - ‘This was the record that got me through the past few months’ - which wasn’t something we ever foresaw while making the record,” said Devaney. “It was and continues to be heartwarming and encouraging to hear that it was having an effect on people.”
Another pressing quickly sold, and a third, and soon during the lockdowns of 2020 they were confronted with an unexpected new decision to make. With the proceeds from Introduction, Presence they could either pay themselves back their wedding savings, or they could pay for the studio time to make a 2nd album. They chose the latter.
The process of A Way Forward made for a very different recording experience. It was more relaxed and confident - the first record had done so much better than they'd ever imagined it could, and because of that they felt it best to trust themselves and follow their instincts. They made it in a much smaller time frame and with a bit more understanding of the recording process, and the result is that it feels a bit more like a proper record rather than a collection of singles. They went back in with Seiferth for some of the record, but also worked with Nick Millhiser (of Holy Ghost!) on a few tracks at his Brooklyn studio. In the end, they put together a record more rooted in Krautrock and early electronic music, as they were listening to a lot of Kraftwerk, Laurie Spiegel, and Cluster around that time.
The album feels even more like a journey - something that can be followed from start to finish, with greater emotional peaks and valleys and new sonic landscapes being explored. The highs are higher and the lows lower, and there's a palpable gratitude of the ability to be present right now and experience any of these emotions at all.
Nation of Language are Ian Devaney, Aidan Noell and Michael Sue-Poi.