TVD Live Shots: The Wombats, Courtship,
and Nation of Language at the 9:30 Club, 1/8

UK Indie-pop artists, The Wombats made a stop at DC’s 9:30 Club earlier this week on an icy-cold Monday night. In spite of the bad weather, fans managed to pack the venue for a cozy night of solid performances.

In anticipation of their upcoming release, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, The Wombats have embarked on a promotional tour through the US that will last until the latter part of January. The tour will pick back up in March with European dates deep into the summer. The album itself will be available in signed vinyl editions and arrives in stores on February 9.

The record’s lead single, “Lemon To A Knife Fight” has been featured on the band’s website since November and is said to have been written by singer Matthew Murphy after a David Lynch binge then subsequently having an argument in the car with his wife while motoring on Mulholland Drive, of all places.

The Wombats performance on Monday was solid and Murphy seemed to be a good form vocally, right in line with energetic bass player Tord Overland Knudsen and speedy drummer Dan Haggis.

LA’s electro-pop duo, Courtship was the second opener of the evening. They won over the crowd quickly with Eli Hirsch’s bright synth waves over the peppy guitar work of Micah Gordon. To my disbelief, it didn’t hurt their momentum playing a cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” in the middle of their set. In fact, the crowd danced all the way through it.

Courtship’s debut single, “Stop For Nothing,” released in August, quickly acquired more than 3 million streams on Spotify and their follow-up singles, “Sunroof” and “Perfect People” also garnered critical acclaim.

The real surprise of the night was the Brooklyn based band Nation of Language. Singer Ian Richard Devaney fronts this unit with near perfect delivery and execution, while angelic synth washes and dancey rhythm tracks are laid over thumping yet smooth bass grooves in the spirit of what could be considered “true” new-wave.

Stylistically, Nation of Language is reminiscent of some rather timeless company—David Byrne and Ian Curtis come to mind. The singles that they’ve released so far, “Indignities,” “What Does The Normal Man Feel,” and “I’ve Thought About Chicago” are all boisterous, sharp, and genuine. I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for this band.



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