Tag: Nation of Language A Way Forward

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.

Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstays Nation of Language Releases a Woozy Ode to Heartbreak and Loss

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 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. 

nterestingly, 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 elsewhere.

Last year’s full-length debut, Introduction, Presence was released to critical praise, landing on the Best Albums of 2020 lists of 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.” 

is slated for a November 5, 2021 release. Reportedly, the album’s material is deeply indebted to 70s Krautrock and electronic experimentalists, essentially pushing their sound towards a new direction. Last month, I wrote about A Way Forward’s first single, the Flock of Seagulls-like “Across That Fine Line,” a song that the band’s Ian Devaney explains “is a reflection on thant moment when a non-romantic relationship flips into something different. When the air in the room suddenly feels like it changes in an undefinable way. It’s kind of a celebration of that certain joyous panic, and the uncertainty that surfaces right after it.”

oozy song centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove, skittering four-on-the-floor and a soaring hook. The end result is a breezy and infectious song that gently plumbs the depths of heartache and loss in a way that sonically — to my ears, at least — bears a resemblance to The Cars “Drive.”

er person has informed so much about how you see yourself. For every bit of progress, there’s just as much retreating, and eventually, it seems like this back-and-forth becomes the new root of your identity – still tied to the same person, just without them actually being there.  

Man Machine-era Kraftwerk, and this simple melody just flowed out. At first, the urge was to go very robotic with it, but a laid-back groove fell into place and gave everything a really warm, spacey, stoned feeling, which felt like it amplified the emotional haze that the song deals with.”