Nation of Language Debut “A Word and a Wave”

Nation of Language have shared “A Word & A Wave.” The track is featured on the band's forthcoming LP, A Way Forward, due out November 5, 2021
Nation of Language photo by Robin Laananen

Nation of Language have shared “A Word & A Wave.” Produced by Nick Milhiser of Holy Ghost!, the track is featured on the band’s forthcoming LP, A Way Forward, due out November 5, 2021. The Brooklyn, band band performs a trio of shows in Philadelphia, New York and Boston, before hitting The Governors Ball, September 25 and heading out on their first ever headlining tour of the U.S., October 2 – 31.

vocalist Ian Devaney on “A Word & A Wave:”

“I was thinking a lot about simple social gestures and how randomly important they can be in key moments. How empowering it can feel when someone remembers your name; how slighted you can feel when someone you only kind-of know passes by without acknowledgment.

The song is a kind of vignette on someone who desperately wants to be the one that makes everyone feel good and has in turn neglected themself. Trying as hard as they can to be there for people who are barely in their lives, hoping that this will bring meaning and fulfillment, when it really just ends up leaving them emotionally spent and scattered.”

“When writing the song, I kept finding myself imagining this person living in Portland, Maine,” Devaney added. “It’s never mentioned in the lyrics, but I found myself wishing I could have conveyed the rest of the scene I pictured – a warmly lit room on a calm overcast evening in a small coastal city. When it came time to make the video I saw our chance and decided we would journey up there and follow that vision as much as we could.” Watch + share a video for the track via YouTube.

Nation of Language released their debut album, Introduction, Presence, in May of 2020. It took roughly four full years to make. Not because they lacked ideas, but mostly because they lacked any resources to complete it. They had a very clear idea of what they wanted Nation of Language to be after finding a lot of inspiration from bands like OMD and early punk/new-wave records, but the cost of going into a proper studio and putting an album together seemed so far out of reach. Whenever they could scrounge up a few hundred extra bucks beyond their rent and basic needs they’d go in and just make singles. Once completed, months would pass before they’d feel like they could afford to make the next one, so they were just a band releasing sporadic singles for what seemed like an eternity.

“It wasn’t until Aidan and I decided to get married that we saw a path to finally finishing an album,” notes Devaney. “We had a very low-key ceremony, and requested that rather than physical wedding gifts, our guests pitch into a fund so we could keep recording. I’m sure it came off as a bit naive, and nearly every person we asked this of tried politely to imply it was a terrible idea or that we should go on a honeymoon instead, but perhaps sensing our determination (or our desperation) they went along with our plan and we ended up with enough money to go in and finish an album.”

When in the studio they had no real idea what they were doing in that environment but looking back that may have been to their advantage. Abe Seiferth helped them figure things out on that front to make the record sound as they had imagined in their heads (better, honestly). Once the album was nearing completion, they cobbled together some tour dates, sunk their last few bucks into pressing some copies on vinyl and buying blank shirts to screen print on their living room floor, and prepared to put the album out themselves.

Nation of Language

09/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
09/10 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
09/11 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
09/25 – Queens, NY @ Governors Ball
10/02 – Detroit, MI @ Tangent Gallery
10/03 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
10/04 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
10/05 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
10/06 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village
10/08 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
10/09 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
10/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
10/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
10/15 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studio
10/17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Lodge Room
10/20 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
10/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Lodge Room
10/22 – Anaheim, CA @ The Parish
10/23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/26 – Dallas, TX @ Deep Ellum Arts
10/27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
10/28 – Austin, TX @ Levitation @ Empire Control Room
10/29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
10/30 – Chapel Hill @ Cat’s Cradle
10/31 – Washington DC @ Songbyrd
01/10 – Cologne, DE @ YUCA
01/11 – Antwerp, BE @ TRIX Bar
01/12 – Amsterdam, NE @ Paradisio
01/14 – Hamburg, DE @ Turmzimmer
01/15 – Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar
01/16 – Stockholm, SE @ Obaren
01/17 – Oslo, NO @ Bla
01/19 – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
01/20 – Zurich, CH @ Kater

Pre-order A Way Forward on vinyl by Nation of Language HERE.