Announce worldwide deal with [PIAS]
New album A Way Forward out 5th November
EU/UK Tour in January 2022 Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, London, all SOLD OUT
(Photo Credit: Robin Laananen | Download here)
“There are nods to the early 80s, like Depeche Mode." - BBC6 Music, Steve Lamacq
“Shades of OMD and Depeche Mode in the Brooklynites’ wonderfully solemn piece of retro electro-pop.” - The Times
“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)
Brooklyn’s Nation of Language consider the absurdity of unfettered capitalism and the self-interests of giant corporations as well as the mega-rich in their new single and video, ‘The Grey Commute’. The trio also announces a worldwide deal with [PIAS], to release their highly anticipated second album A Way Forward on 5th November via Play It Again Sam. Pre-order here.
Discussing ‘The Grey Commute’ songwriter/vocalist Ian Devaney said, "In some ways ‘The Grey Commute’ is one of the more upbeat songs of the record, but in truth it’s one that was born out of much more depressing stuff. As I was working on the lyrics I had a kind of fixation on terrible tax policies, our cultural addiction to meaningless consumption, and it all got swept together into this punchy, kind of fun track."
Watch the video for ‘The Grey Commute’ HERE.
He explains further, “To give a sense of time: the Republican tax plan, under which we’re currently living, was just being passed and it was pretty clear just how mind-bindingly stupid it was. Such deep cuts to the taxes of the hyper-wealthy and corporations were both shocking and not shocking at all, and it was difficult to comprehend that anyone thought it wouldn’t lead to the exacerbation of the inequality and instability that defines our time. But here we are. You can see everything I felt then pretty clearly represented on the page when absent any backbeat and melody, but the rant gets dressed up a bit with some bounciness on the final cut to help serve as a bit of a Trojan horse to hopefully get the sentiment across."
The video’s overt absurdity serves a similar purpose in trying to compliment the absurdity of the subject matter. We turned the task of hitting that particular note over to our friend Gary Canino, who has been churning out amazing videos for his own musical project (Dark Tea) for some time. We’d been devouring his work over the past year, and Aidan actually ended up in the video for his song 'Buying A Gun'. He’s able to use humour in a way that has thus far eluded me when it comes to making our own videos, and this really felt like the right song to bring some of that energy too."
The band have had outstanding support from The Times, DIY, NME, Pitchfork, BBC6 Music, CLASH, Gigwise, Consequence and more. Previous single ‘This Fractured Mind’ remains on BBC6 Music’s A-List for a fourth week, with ‘A Word & A Wave’, ‘Across That Fine Line’, and ‘Wounds Of Love’ being further previews of the new album.
While much of the sounds on first album Introduction, Presence garnered comparisons to the synth-punk sound of the 80’s, with this new set of songs the band delved heavily into the Krautrock pioneers and electronic experimentalists of the 70’s for inspiration in the studio, stretching their boundaries in new and different ways. Production on the record was divided between Abe Seiferth (who worked on Introduction, Presence) and Nick Milhiser of Holy Ghost!.
Nation Of Language are in the midst of their first ever US headline tour, performing at mostly sold out venues, while properly celebrating their acclaimed 2020 debut for the first time. This January, the band are set for an EU and UK tour with Berlin, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, and London sold out already. Limited tickets are available for other live dates here.
10/01 - Cologne, DE @ YUCA 11/01 - Antwerp, BE @ TRIX Bar 12/01 - Amsterdam, NE @ Paradisio 14/01 - Hamburg, DE @ Turmzimmer 15/01 - Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar` 16/01 - Stockholm, SE @ Obaren 17/01 - Oslo, NO @ Bla 19/01 - Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain [SOLD OUT] 20/01 - Zurich, CH @ Kater 22/01 - Barcelona, ES @ Laut 23/01 - Madrid, ES @ Sala El Sol 25/01 - Paris, FR @ Supersonic 27/01 - Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club [SOLD OUT] 28/01 - Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast [SOLD OUT] 29/01 - Dublin, IE @ The Grand Social 30/01 - Manchester, UK @ YES Basement [SOLD OUT] 31/01 - London, UK @ Lafayette [SOLD OUT]
A Way Forward will be released 5th November 2021 via [PIAS].
A Way Forward out 5th November 2021 Pre-order the album HERE.
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.