Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays Nation of Language Perform “Across That Fine Line” on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Rising Brooklyn-based synth pop trio and JOVM mainstays Nation of Language — Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitars, percussion), Aidan Noell (synth, vocals) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2016: Devaney and Sue-Poi were members of The Static Joys, a band that became largely inactive after the release of their sophomore album. And as the story goes, Devaney was inspired to start a new project after hearing OMD‘s “Electricity,” a song he had listened to quite a bit while in his father’s car.

What initially started out as Devaney fooling around on a keyboard eventually evolved to Nation of Language with the addition of Noell and Sue-Poi. Between 2016-2019, the Brooklyn-based synth pop trio released a handful of singles that helped to build up a fanbase locally and the outside world.

Nation of Language’s full-length debut, Introduction, Presence was released to critical praise, landing on the Best Albums of 2020 lists for Rough TradeKEXPPasteStereogumUnder The Radar and PopMatters. The Brooklyn-based pop trio capped off the year with the “A Different Kind of Light”/”Deliver Me From Wondering Why” 7 inch, which featured the A Flock of Seagulls meets Simple Minds-like “Deliver Me From Wondering Why.” 

Late last year, the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays released their critically applauded sophomore album A Way Forward, which featured lead album single “Across That Fine Line.” Featuring glistening synth arpeggios, a relentless motorik groove, Devaney’s plaintive vocals and an enormous, rousingly anthemic hook, “Across That Fine Line” continues the band’s remarkable run of decidedly 80s synth pop inspired material. Certainly, as a child of the 80s, the song reminds me of the aforementioned A Flock of Seagulls, as well as Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones and a few others — and much like the sources that inspired it, the song is centered around earnest, lived-in songwriting.

“‘Across That Fine Line’ is a reflection on that moment when a non-romantic relationship flips into something different,” Nation of Language’s Devaney explains in press notes. “When the air in the room suddenly feels like it changes in an undefinable way. It’s a kind of celebration of that certain joyous panic, and the uncertainty that surfaces right after it.  
“Sonically, it’s meant to feel like running down a hill, just out of control. I had been listening to a lot of Thee Oh Sees at the time of writing it and admiring the way they supercharge krautrock rhythms and imbue them with a kind of mania, which felt like an appropriate vibe to work with and make our own.”

Recently, the JOVM mainstays made their late night, national TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The band performed “Across That Fine Line” in a segment taped at Baby’s All Right.

The members of Nation of Language also announced a lengthy international tour throughout the winter and spring to support their latest release. They’ll be in the UK during late January and early February. The band will then embark on a month-long North American tour that includes a March 3, 2022 stop at Webster Hall. April sees the band returning to Europe for a European Union tour.

As always, tour dates and ticket information is below.

Tour Dates [
tickets here]:

01/27 – Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club [SOLD OUT]

01/28 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast [SOLD OUT]

01/30 – Manchester, UK @ YES Basement [SOLD OUT]

01/31 – London, UK @ Lafayette [SOLD OUT]

02/02 – London, UK @ XOYO [tickets]

03/02 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar [tickets]

03/03 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall [tickets]

03/04 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall [tickets]

03/05 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts [tickets]

03/18 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box [tickets]

03/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room [tickets]

03/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room [tickets]

03/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s [tickets]

03/24 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile [SOLD OUT]

03/25 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile [tickets]

03/26 – Portland, OR @ Vitalidad Hall [tickets]

03/29 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre [tickets]

03/30 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar [tickets]

03/31 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line [tickets]

04/01 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall [tickets]

04/02 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway [tickets]

04/03 – Indianapolis, IN @ HiFi [tickets]

04/06 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups [tickets]

04/07 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace [tickets]

04/8 – Montreal, PQ @ Bar Le Ritz [tickets]

04/18 – Antwerp, BE @ TRIX Bar

04/19 – Cologne, DE @ YUCA0

4/20 – Hamburg, DE @ Turmzimmer

04/22 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega [tickets]

04/23 – Stockholm, SE @ Obaren

04/27 – Berlin, DE @ Lido

04/28 – Amsterdam, NE @ Tulhuistuin

04/29 – Nijmegen, NE @ Doornroosje

04/30 – Paris, FR @ Le Badaboum

05/01 – Zurich, CH @ Kater

05/03 – Barcelona, ES @ Razzmatazz

05/04 – Madrid, ES @ Sala El Sol

05/06 – Porto, PT @