‘Sole Obsession’s’ lyrics illustrate the alternate side of oneself that emerges during prolonged experiences of passionate fixation. Over layers of sharp, shimmering synths, and the tracks hypnotic propulsion of bass and drums, singer Ian Devaney showcases immense range and irresistible melodies, his voice soaring with feelings of both liberating euphoria and deep contemplation.

"In simplest terms, ‘Sole Obsession’ is one about knowing when, or if, to give in or give up."

On the track, Nation of Language members Ian Devaney and Aidan Noell say, “In simplest terms, ‘Sole Obsession’ is one about knowing when, or if, to give in or give up. Particularly, when to untie the knots we tie ourselves into when an infatuation sets in. So many of us have experienced an addictive feeling that constricts us further and further until, hopefully, there’s a moment of clarity that allows one to free themself from that particular compulsion. The title of our next album, Strange Disciple, is a lyric from ‘Sole Obsession’ which references a character of such a nature; one who finds themself an adherent to a subject that is probably not worth the devotion.”


They add, “We chose to represent this with an anonymous robed figure that lives within all of us, waiting for us to don the cloak and take up our role, and we worked with John Mackay to bring the Disciple to life in the music video. Taking cinematic inspiration from Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) as well as Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1958), the Disciple is depicted as one of us, and we in turn are depicted as the Disciple.”


The video is directed by John MacKay and shot in 16mm around Queens and Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park.


Watch the music video for ‘Sole Obsession’:

play video

Beginning this spring, the band will debut the track and more of their new music live at their biggest headline shows yet. After making their TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, playing multiple cities across the globe, and performing at 2022 festivals like Austin City Limits, Desert Daze ,and Pitchfork Paris – where they were named a highlight of the weekend – 2023 is about to bring Nation of Language to Brooklyn Steel, LA’s Fonda Theatre, two sold-out nights at Seattle’s Crocodile, London’s KOKO, Primavera Sound, Best Kept Secret, and more.


Find the full list of dates below, and more information on their website.

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