Tag: Simple Minds

Lyric Video: Nation of Language Returns with A Motorik Groove Driven Bop

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.

erestingly, 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.

ast 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.”

New Audio: Nation of Language Releases a Chilly ’80s Inspired Bop

Nation of Language is a Brooklyn-based synth pop trio — Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitars, percussion), Aidan Noell (synth, vocals) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass) — that can trace its origins back to 2016. At the time Devaney and Sue-Poi were members of The Static Joys, a band that became largely inactive after the release of their sophomore album. As the story goes, Devaney was inspired to start a new project after hearing OMD’s “Electricity,” a track he listened to in his childhood while in his father’s car.

What initially stated out as Devaney fooling around on a keyboard quickly evolved to Nation of Language with the addition of Noell and Sue-Poi. Between 2016 and 2019, the act released a handful of singles that helped them build up a fanbase locally and elsewhere. (Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that I caught them open for JOVM mainstays Still Corners a couple of years ago.)

The trio’s debut effort, last year’s 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. Nation of Language capped off 2020 with a 7 inch single “A Different Kind of Light”/”Deliver Me From Wondering Why” — and to start off 2021, the rising Brooklyn-based synth pop trio recently released the 7 inch’s B side “Deliver Me From Wondering Why.”

“Deliver Me From Wonder Why” is chilly synth pop bop centered around repetitious and trance-inducing synth arpeggios and a persistent motorik groove that has a decidedly 80s vibe — in particular, you can’t help but think of A Flock of Seagulls, Simple Minds, and others. “‘Deliver Me From Wondering Why’ is a bit of an exploration, rooted in a desire for something repetitious and a bit spacey – something that would make you really want to zone out or go on a long drive on the highway,” Nation of Language’s Ian Richard Devaney says in press notes. “We worked with Nick Millhiser (Holy Ghost!) and it was just a really fun exercise in letting the track carry us wherever it was going to go. The backbone of the steady synth arpeggios and rhythms just leads endlessly forward and lets the mind wander around it.”


Comprised of founding members Andy Peña (vocals) and Devin Garcia (bass), along with David Ramirez (keys) and Adrian Loera (drums), the McAllen, TX-based dream pop act Quiet Kids can trace their origins to the breakup of Peña’s and Garcia’s previous band Dignan. Once the dust settled, Peña and Garcia began writing new material together, before recruiting Ramirez and Loera to flesh out the band’s sound and to complete its lineup. The quartet quickly earned attention-grabbing opening slots for the likes of Angel Olsen, Mitski and Miniature Tigers.

Now, as you may recall, the McAllen-based dream pop act’s self-titled debut EP is slated for release later this week through Good Eye Records, and the EP’s material finds the act firmly establishing their sound, which is centered around dreamy synths, sinuous bass lines and tight drumming while the material’s lyrically touch upon everyday themes — with a particular focus on the places and relationships of one’s life.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the slow-burning, Quiet Storm R&B meets Caveman-like “My Moon,” a love song inspired by Peña’s wife. Interestingly, the EP’s latest track, “Tidal Wave” finds the McAllen dream pop act picking up the tempo a bit, for a dance floor friendly anthem that recalls Simple Minds, Thompson Twins and others, as the track is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, a soaring hook, Peña’s plaintive vocals, and a soulful horn solo; however, as Peña explains in press notes, the song is ultimately about crippling insecurity and anxiety. “Throughout my life as an artist, I’ve always questioned what I put out there. Nothing I wrote ever felt ‘good enough,'” Peña says. “It’s only in the stability of my relationships that I realized I can write about whatever I feel. My art is me, and my family, and friends. ‘Tidal Wave’ came about when I was having a rough patch writing. I was overthinking everything and just worrying about the most minute things.”




Like A Version is a beloved weekly segment that airs on Australia’s leading national radio station Triple J — and the premise of the series is extremely simple: the radio station invites both national and internationally known artists to cover some of their favorite songs. Much like the AV Club’s Undercover the series  reveals the taste and influences of their invited acts, while letting those artists cover material in whatever way they seem fit — sometimes, it’s much more straightforward and other times, the act puts their own spin on it. Either way, it’s both thought provoking and deeply entertaining. Unsurprisingly, because of the series popularity, Triple J has released a series of chart topping compilation albums, which in many ways serves as a historical document of Australian popular music.

Metropolitan Groove Merchants will be releasing the Like A Version compilation in North America on September 22, marking the first time that Americans can check out the series, and the first album features 21 unique covers from some of the world’s most renowned and beloved artists — and to celebrate the occasion, Metropolitan Groove Merchants released two of the compilation’s singles, JOVM mainstay Tame Impala performing an ethereal and cinematic rendition of Kylie Minogue‘s “Confide In Me” that manages to be a deceptively straightforward cover that also decidedly retains their dreamy psych pop sound; while blogosphere darlings CHVRCHES put a decidedly sensual and anthemic synth pop cover of Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know” that nods at Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait” and Simple Minds‘ “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Penelopes Return with an 80s New Wave and Synth Pop Inspired New Single

Comprised of Paris-born, London-based duo Axel Basquiat (composer, vocals, bass) and Vincent T. (production, sound engineering and keys), The Penelopes are an indie electro pop act, production and DJ duo who have developed a reputation for propulsive, Giorgio Moroder-like remixes of Lana Del Ray, Pet Shop Boys, We Have Band, Night Drive, The Ting Tings, Alt J and others, and for their own original material, which critics have compared favorably to the likes of Daft Punk, M83 and Air. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 3 years or so, you may have come across posts on their remixes of The Ting Tings “Do It Again,” Alt J’s “Hunger of the Pine” and an anthemic, club-banging cover of Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again” that managed to retain the song’s sense of longing.

The duo released a new single package featuring their cover of Bowie’s “This Is Not America,” which received airplay on KCRW, along with several remixes, including Miguel Campbell’s remix, which received airplay on Nemone’s BBC 6 show, and a new, original song “Tina.” The duo’s latest single “Tina” manages to be a decided refinement of the sound that captured both the site’s attention and the rest of the blogosphere; in fact, while retaining a dance floor friendly feel, the song manages to decidedly leans in the direction of 80s New Wave and synth pop — in particular, I’m reminded a bit of Simple Mind’s “Don’t You Forget About Me,” as “Tina” possesses an rousingly anthemic nature that belies a swooning Romantic nature.

The recently released video cuts between footage from Asia Argento’s directorial feature film Misunderstood, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and footage of the band performing the song in a studio, shot in a striking, film noir-like black and white.