Nation of Language have announced their sophomore album, A Way Forward, coming Nov. 5, and shared its lead single, “Across That Fine Line.” You can imagine our excitement: The New York City outfit’s acclaimed debut Introduction, Presence ranked among Paste’s top albums of 2020, and we highlighted the band as the Best of What’s Next soon after its release last May.
“Across That Fine Line” is a characteristically winning new-wave throwback, powered by an anxious drum machine clatter, twitchy bass and guitars, and singer/songwriter Ian Devaney’s airy vocals, all of which combine to anthemic effect in its thrilling choruses. Nation of Language have a way of bringing ‘80s synth-pop into the present, embodying these retro sounds, rather than simply trying them on for size, and “Across That Fine Line” is yet another example of that knack.
Devaney says of the trio’s new track:
“Across That Fine Line” is a reflection on that 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 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.
Devaney, keyboardist Aidan Noell and bassist Michael Sue-Poi will head out on their first-ever headlining tour of the U.S. this fall, adding nearly two dozen dates around their previously announced sets at the U.K.’s Reading-Leeds Festival and New York’s Governors Ball, and with more shows to come. You can get tickets here.
Listen to “Across That Fine Line” below, and find the details of A Way Forward and Nation of Language’s tour dates further down.
A Way Forward Tracklist:
01. In Manhattan
02. Across That Fine Line
03. Wounds Of Love
05. The Grey Commute
06. This Fractured Mind
07. Former Self
08. Whatever You Want
09. A Word & A Wave
10. They’re Beckoning
A Way Forward Album Art:
Nation of Language Tour Dates:
27-29 – Reading-Leeds, UK @ Reading/Leeds Fest [SOLD OUT]
09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom [SOLD OUT]
11 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
25 – Queens, NY @ The Governors Ball
02 – Detroit, MI @ Tangent Gallery
03 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
04 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
05 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
08 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
09 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
14 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
15 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studio
17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
20 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
22 – Anaheim, CA @ The Parish
23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
30 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
31 – Washington DC @ Songbyrd