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Following performances at Primavera Sound, Pitchfork Festival, Outside Lands, and dozens more of what will be their biggest headline shows to date, the Brooklyn band’s third LP – due 15th September – is one that is meant to invoke wandering, wondrous walks through city streets both foreign and familiar.  

 

In the three short years since their acclaimed debut, 2020’s Introduction, Presence, Nation of Language have sustained an increasing ascent from small, hyperlocal scenes to international stages and late-night television, while their musical evolution has embodied three distinct modes of moving through the world: lead singer and songwriter Ian Devaney imagines the band’s first album, Introduction, Presence, as taking place in a car, whereas second album A Way Forward occurred on and as a locomotive, influenced by the chugging sound of krautrock. Now, as their first record to be fully created and released outside the confines of a pandemic-instilled lockdown, Strange Disciple is centered around groove-driven songs and bouncing basslines that feel ambulatory and wayfaring, informed by the excitement of exploring new places the band never thought they would see on tour.  

Recorded in the East Williamsburg studio of the album’s producer Nick Millhiser (Holy Ghost!, LCD Soundsystem), Strange Disciple was completed during the time Nation of Language spent at home, in between runs of live shows throughout this past year. Unlike their previous two LPs, this time band members Ian Devaney, Aidan Noell, and Alex MacKay, were able to consider the creative choices that would be most compelling to perform on-stage, expanding their new wave, post-punk and synth-powered sound with newfound fervor. They incorporated live drums into the arrangements and more guitar than they ever had before, as they channeled longtime loves of shoegaze and the dark melodrama of troubadours like Leonard Cohen. For the first time ever, Nation of Language also committed to a completely analog recording process, allowing themselves to accept their imperfections and resist the inclination to overthink the emphatic, euphoric and cerebral style of songwriting “that makes you want to dance and cry at the same time” (Document Journal).  

 

Led by Ian Devaney’s tender, towering professions of all-consuming adoration, new single ‘Weak In Your Light’ arrives on the heels of Nation of Language’s soaring ‘Sole Obsession’, the recent single and spectral music video and that was hailed as “a perfect dancefloor number about devotion and human compulsions” (Paste). Both songs embody Strange Disciple’s overarching theme of hopeless devotion, and the feelings of agony, ecstasy and revelatory anguish that come with any form of unhealthy dedication. From the incessant, constantly outrageous news cycle described on the hook-filled ‘Too Much Enough’, to the romance, toxic infatuation and addictive patterns sung throughout the rest of the album, each song finds Ian Devaney telling transient stories about temptation, guilt, and the inexplicable joy of being so pained by one’s passionate fixations.  

 

Watch the music video for first single ‘Sole Obsession’:

play video

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