Tag: Nation Of Language

NATION OF LANGUAGE This Fractured Mind

‘This Fractured Mind’ is the best of the three trailers released so far by NATION OF LANGUAGE ahead of their upcoming second album ‘A Way Forward’.

Dealing with the spectre of unrealised dreams and jealousy towards more successful others, by the end of ‘This Fractured Mind’, any inferiority complex is countered with hopeful acceptance in line with the new album’s optimistic title.

Vocally like a majestic cross between THE NATIONAL and A-HA, NATION OF LANGUAGE are led by singer /songwriter Ian Devaney; his wife Aidan Noell on keyboards and returning bassist Michael Sui-Poi complete the line-up.

Using a rigid motorik backbone and capturing a danceable ethereal shudder, ‘This Fractured Mind’ breathes new life via its sprightly synth tones in a reference to the past. Although there is also some frenetic bass guitar grit to provide a hint of claustrophobia, the machines that had only been friends previously have now become family…

Possibly the nearest act musically to the much missed MIRRORS at the moment, NATION OF LANGUAGE seem to get synthier with each release. ‘On Division St’ from their debut long player ‘Introduction, Presence’ revealed itself to be a second cousin to NEW ORDER’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ with its sharp synth lines and programmed bass triplets. But a late 2020 standalone single ‘Deliver Me From Wondering Why’ used a more blippy construction compared with the post-punk approach of their earlier work and explored the more experimental phase of OMD.

Ian Devaney’s artistic epiphany came when he heard OMD’s ‘Electricity’ in his father’s car for the first time in years, having grown up with it as part of his domestic soundtrack. Inspired to write songs with modern monophonic synths like the Behringer MS-1, Moog Sub37 and reissued Korg MS20, he adopted a fresh beginner’s mind towards the electronic pop form.

With such an affinity towards pioneering British new wave bands like NEW ORDER and OMD, NATION OF LANGUAGE’s tour of the UK in early 2022 could be seen as a sort of spiritual homecoming for the Brooklyn-based trio.


‘This Fractured Mind’ is from the upcoming album ‘A Way Forward’ released on 5th November 2021, pre-order from the band’s website shop or https://nationoflanguage.bandcamp.com/

NATION OF LANGUAGE 2022 EU + UK tour includes:

Copenhagen Ideal Bar (15th January), Stockholm Obaren (16th January), Oslo Bla (17th January), Berlin Kantine Am Berghain (19th January), Zurich Kater (20th January), Barcelona Laut (22nd January), Madrid Sala El Sol (23rd January), Paris Supersonic (25th January), Leeds Hyde Park Book Club (27th January), Glasgow Broadcast (28th January), Dublin Grand Social (29th January), Manchester YES Pink Room (30th January), London Lafayette (31st January)

https://www.nationoflanguage.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nationoflanguage

https://twitter.com/notionofanguish

https://www.instagram.com/nationoflanguage/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5JWBow4ywgKNQ5HBxY8hcz


Text by Chi Ming Lai
10th August 2021

Introducing NATION OF LANGUAGE

Brooklyn-based duo NATION OF LANGUAGE are singer / songwriter Ian Devaney and his wife Aidan Noell on keyboards.

Gifted with a voice of anguish, Devaney had fronted New Jersey alternative rock band THE STATIC JACKS who released their only album ‘In Blue’ in 2013.

Legend has it that NATION OF LANGUAGE came into being when Devaney heard OMD’s ‘Electricity’ in his father’s car for the first time in years, having grown up with it as part of his domestic soundtrack. This led to Devaney adopting what he termed the “beginner’s mind” of those pioneering synth acts.

So he began writing songs with monophonic synths like the Behringer MS-1, Korg MS20 and Moog Sub37 while like OMD, also using bass guitar. Issuing a series of singles since 2016 including an electronic cover of PIXIES’ ‘Gouge Away’, NATION OF LANGUAGE finally released their debut album ‘Introduction, Presence’ in Spring 2020.

Now if Rodney Cromwell had joined MIRRORS or if MIRRORS had more of a Factory Records fixation as opposed to looking up to OMD, then that would be the sound of NATION OF LANGUAGE. So despite having dense production aesthetics in common, the more inherent gloominess means that NATION OF LANGUAGE are perhaps less obviously immediate than MIRRORS. NATION OF LANGUAGE have also made more use of NEW ORDER style melodic lead bass provided by Michael Sui-Poi from THE STATIC JACKS, while Fabrizio Moretti from THE STROKES occasionally guested on drums.

‘On Division St’ is a close relative to ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ with its sharp synth lines and programmed bass triplets, while ‘Rush & Fever’ plays with sequencers and electronic effects to reinforce the NEW ORDER influence but perhaps more unexpectedly, Devaney starts to sound like Morten Harket of A-HA.

The spectre of the Norwegian pop trio looms on the superb synth driven album highlight ‘Friend Machine’ which examines society’s addiction to technology and the standalone synthpop flavoured single ‘A Different Kind Of Life’. However, the shadier tones of  CHVRCHES collaborator Matt Berninger of THE NATIONAL is who Devaney mostly emulates vocally.

Album opener ‘Tournament’ imagines an artistic union of A-HA and LCD SOUNDSYSTEM while ‘Automobile’ adds full chords via some Roland Strings; continuing the driving theme, there’s the partly spoken robopop of ‘The Motorist’.

While the album closer ‘The Wall & I’ exhibits more of a post-punk feel like FM ATTACK meets SECTION 25, the glorious brand new single ‘Deliver Me From Wondering Why’ uses a more blippy construction and takes a leaf out of the more experimental phase of early OMD while eschewing bass guitar following the departure of Michael Sui-Poi.

‘A Different Kind Of Life’ and ‘Deliver Me From Wondering Why’ both signal the next phase of NATION OF LANGUAGE and unlike MIRRORS who many are comparing them to, a second long player is a likely realisation.

It will be very interesting to see where the duo head next and whether the machines become not just friends but family…


‘Deliver Me From Wondering Why’ is available as a digital single, along with their back catalogue to date from https://nationoflanguage.bandcamp.com/

‘Introduction, Presence’ can be purchased as a vinyl LP from https://www.nationoflanguage.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nationoflanguage

https://twitter.com/notionofanguish

https://www.instagram.com/nationoflanguage/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5JWBow4ywgKNQ5HBxY8hcz


Text by Chi Ming Lai
3rd March 2021