Brooklyn group Nation of Language have shared a new single “September Again,” from their now-delayed album, Introduction, Presence, out on May 22 (originally April 3). Paste tipped this band back in 2018 in our list of New York City bands to watch. Previous singles like 2017’s “I’ve Thought About Chicago” and “Indignities,” plus 2018’s “On Division St” and “Reality,” were some of the most exciting synth-pop songs in years, and we’ve been eyeing their eventual debut album release ever since.
You might recognize Nation of Language frontman Ian Devaney from his recent work with machinegum, a new project with The Strokes drummer Fab Moretti, who released a full-length album, Conduit, late last year.
“September Again” is another selection of new wave-indebted melancholia that soars above the rest. Devaney’s existential crises meet the heady grooves of the dance floor as he feels trapped by the ceaseless wheel of time and its ever-building expectations. Rather than drawing on the atmospheric darkwave of many of today’s modern synth-pop outfits, Devaney channels the soaring hi-fi pop of the ’80s, and the electro-pop and dance-punk revival of the ’00s.
Devaney says of the new track:
“September Again” is about struggling with the feeling that with each passing year you’re only becoming a worse version of yourself—less capable of wonder or grand ambition, less sure of your footing in your own life. I used to just pick up a book like Crime and Punishment, or detailed histories of the Italian campaign in WWII, and those kinds of artistic/academic adventures now feel so much more daunting for some reason. There is a grit that is required to relentlessly pursue these things like I used to, and I can feel that part of me slipping. I tell myself it’s merely because I’ve picked a lane in life and I only have so much time, but there is always the nagging suspicion that I have, in reality, deteriorated in some meaningful way. The song comes out of this war within myself where one part of me is desperately wanting to get back there while another part is only looking to what lays ahead in the life I’ve made for myself.
The band’s hometown album release show has been rescheduled for May 29 at The Sultan Room in Brooklyn, but stay tuned for updates on whether it goes ahead as planned.
Listen to “September Again” below. You can preorder Introduction, Presence here.