Rising Brooklyn-based synth pop trio 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 off The Static Joys, a band that became largely inactive after the release of that band’s 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.
Interestingly, 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.
Last year’s full-length debut, Introduction, Presence was released to critical praise, landing on the Best Albums of 2020 lists for Rough Trade, KEXP, Paste, Stereogum, Under The Radar and PopMatters. They capped off a massive 2020 with the A Different Kind of Light”/”Deliver Me From Wondering Why” 7 inch, which featured the A Flock of Seagulls and Simple Minds-like “Deliver Me From Wondering Why.” The act’s latest single “Across That Fine Line” is the first official single off their highly-anticipated sophomore album A Way Forward slated for a November 5, 2021 release.
Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a relentless motorik groove, a rousingly anthemic yet dance floor friendly hook and Devaney’s plaintive vocals, “Across That Fine Line” continues a run of crowd pleasing and decidedly 80s inspired material; if you’re a child of the 80s A Flock of Seagulls and few others come to mind.
“‘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.”
The last quarter of the year will see the members of the Brooklyn synth pop act embarking on their first headlining tour and the tour includes a September 10, 2021 stop at Bowery Ballroom.
08/27-29 – Reading-Leeds, UK @ Reading/Leeds Fest
09/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
09/10 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
09/11 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
09/25 – Queens, NY @ Governors Ball
09/30 – Montreal, PQ @ Bar le Ritz
10/01 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
10/02 – Detroit, MI @ Tangent Gallery
10/03 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
10/04 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
10/05 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
10/08 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
10/09 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
10/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
10/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
10/15 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studio
10/17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
10/20 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
10/22 – Anaheim, CA @ The Parish
10/23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
10/29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
10/30 – Chapel Hill @ Cat’s Cradle
10/31 – Washington DC @ Songbyrd