Brooklyn-based trio Nation of Language have shared another preview of their forthcoming sophomore effort A Way Forward (Nov. 5), “Wounds of Love,” and added tour dates to their 2021 and 2022 slates, including new stops on their first-ever U.S. headlining tour this fall, and a winter 2022 run through the U.K. and E.U.
Though not as anthemic as lead single “Across That Fine Line,” “Wounds of Love” is an atmospheric, mid-tempo synth-pop strut that couches its pain and confusion in a fine mist of squelching keys and vocal layering. It’s further proof of Nation of Language’s knack for bringing compelling depth and texture to their new wave throwback sound, even on an off-speed pitch.
Singer and songwriter Ian Devaney elaborates on “Wounds of Love” in a statement:
“Wounds of Love” is a song about getting caught in a mental feedback loop when a relationship ends. It’s an endless inner argument—wanting to move on defiantly, but feeling utterly lost about how to do it when the other person has informed so much about how you see yourself. For every bit of progress there’s just as much retreating, and eventually it seems like this back-and-forth becomes the new root of your identity—still tied to the same person, just without them actually being there.
During its creation, the song was really born out of the main riff—I was experimenting with synth sounds and delay pedals, trying to find something that felt kind of like Man Machine-era Kraftwerk, and this simple melody just flowed out. At first the urge was to go very robotic with it, but a laid-back groove fell into place and gave everything a really warm, spacey, stoned feeling, which felt like it amplified the emotional haze that the song deals with.
Later, when it came time to make a visual to accompany the song, the aim was to capture some of the ways people attempt to navigate moving past those major heartbreaks. Throwing oneself into tactile tasks seemed like a fitting arena to explore. To watch someone quietly working a craft with their hands, taking their time and allowing themselves to focus in a way that hopefully quiets the mind and blocks everything else out can be incredibly calming and hypnotic. Whether at a professional level or just channeling energy into a personal hobby, there’s a lot of power in having a pursuit that requires attention and finesse. Tying that profound, resilient kind of calm to the song in a way that is not so present within the lyrics feels like a great companion to the track itself—adding a glimpse of a way out of the feedback.
A Way Forward follows the band’s acclaimed debut Introduction, Presence, one of Paste’s top albums of 2020.
In addition to their newly announced U.K. and E.U. shows set for January 2022, Nation of Language have added second stops in New York City and Chicago, and a set at Austin’s Levitation festival, as well as relocated to a larger venue in Seattle.
Watch the “Wounds of Love” lyric video below and see Nation of Language’s newly expanded tour slate further down. New shows are in bold.
Nation of Language Tour Dates:
19 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Sultan Room [SOLD OUT]
27-29 – Reading-Leeds, UK @ Reading/Leeds Fest [SOLD OUT]
09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom [SOLD OUT]
11 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
25 – Queens, NY @ The Governors Ball [SOLD OUT]
02 – Detroit, MI @ Tangent Gallery
03 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle [SOLD OUT]
04 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
05 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
06 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village
08 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
09 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
14 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
15 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studio
17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
20 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
22 – Anaheim, CA @ The Parish
23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
28 – Austin, TX @ Levitation @ Empire Control Room
29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
30 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
31 – Washington DC @ Songbyrd
10 – Cologne, DE @ YUCA
11 – Antwerp, BE @ TRIX Bar
12 – Amsterdam, NE @ Paradisio
14 – Hamburg, DE @ Turmzimmer
15 – Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar
16 – Stockholm, SE @ Obaren [free]
17 – Oslo, NO @ Bla
19 – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
20 – Zurich, CH @ Kater
22 – Barcelona, ES @ Laut
23 – Madrid, ES @ Sala El Sol
25 – Paris, FR @ Supersonic [free]
27 – Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club
28 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
29 – Dublin, IE @ The Grand Social
30 – Manchester, UK @ YES Basement
31 – London, UK @ Lafayette