TVD Live Shots: Nation of Language and Glove at the Lodge Room, 3/20

While we were away.Ed.

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Nation of Language is the band I am most excited about. They have captivated me, stolen my heart, and infiltrated my dreams. Their music taps into my internal state: questions of existence, post-punk and new wave motifs, ruminations of self and love.

Maybe we are all the same no matter what our choice in music, but this concoction gets me. “September Again,” off of their Introduction, Please is a song I’ve had on repeat. Repeat is an unusual experience for me. I have not found myself in a loop like this since I discovered Joy Division’s, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and The National. Releasing Introduction, Please (2020) and their latest album A Way Forward (2021) during the pandemic could have shelved any emerging artist, so I have also learned not to hype up new music I come across until I see it live. I feared an anti-climax.

Openers, Glove, a 4-piece post-punk outfit presented a clear message. As Batcave progenies, the influence of Wire and Bauhaus is there. Cohesive and stylistically balanced, they are a steadfast part of the post-punk revival scene that seems to, judging by the crowd, have interest from a multi-generation of fans.

Nation of Language had a two-night residency at the Lodge Room in Highland Park. This is a pivotal moment as the band is on the brink of taking off. The crowd knows it and the band feels it. There is no label PR ploy generating this buzz, it’s stemming from radio shows and DJs genuinely gunning for them solely because they are fans.

Last October saw them performing a live session on Seattle’s KEXP. January brought a performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with “Across That Fine Line.” At the Lodge Room, KCRW’s own Travis Holcombe had a DJ set before and after their show. Many recognize their imminent ascension and want to be a part of it, myself included. I covered the first night for TVD, and by the night’s end I made sure I had a ticket for night two.

The Brooklyn-based Nation of Language is a band that is transcending genres no matter how deeply rooted they are in them—a 3-piece, heavily synth orientated, and bereft of a drum kit. Aidan Noell (synth/ backing vocals), Alex Mackay (bass guitar), and Ian Richard Devaney (lead vocals/ guitar/ synth) comprise the band. Mackay is a linchpin on bass, and as a married couple, Noell and Devaney retain independency as separate musicians utilizing their space on the stage.

Noell is behind the synth arrangements and Devaney’s voice swoons as he carries the perfect melodies and deep introspective lyrics with force, dancing across the stage, lost in his own reverie. Even with a song like “Indignities” which I tend to skip over, I found myself pulled into and now listening to with a different perspective. Nation of Language is on a US tour until April 6th where they will head out for an international leg until November.


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