Nation of Language // ‘A Different Kind of Life’

Words: Kristopher English / @kenglish47 // Cover Image / Fabrizio Moretti

  • Nation of Language, a 3-piece band from Brooklyn, bring to life a fresh and sophisticated take on retro-inspired synth pop.
  • Their debut record ‘Introduction, Presence’ has been featured in Pitchfork, NME, Paste and Stereogum, and was recently listed as one of Rough Trade’s albums of the year.
  • Their new single ‘A Different Kind of Life’ is one of the most upbeat songs in their entire catalogue.

Nation of Language’s sound is like if Matt Berninger grabbed some black eyeliner, traveled back in time, and started partying with Bernard Sumner circa 1983. Their debut album ‘Introduction, Presence’ is one of the best records of the year. Wistful and nostalgic, lonely yet passionately alive, it is refined elegance in the form of daydreaming, retro-inspired synth pop.

2020 has been a busy year for Nation of Language and their members. Lead singer Ian Devaney fronted the art collective Machinegum, founded by Fab Moretti of The Strokes. In addition to the long-awaited release of their full length LP in May, Nation of Language have also released multiple new singles; the first an immaculate cover of Pixies’ ‘Gouge Away’, and the latest, released just last week, an original song entitled ‘A Different Kind of Life’.

The release timing of ‘A Different Kind of Life’ is no mistake, as it was brought into the world shortly after Joe Biden was declared the next President of the United States. Yes, there’s still a narcissist in the office crying election foul, and yes, the pandemic is surging across the globe. But with the election of a new leader and a collective vote against hate there is at least some reason to be hopeful, to “hear the bells of a different kind of life” as Devaney eloquently puts it.

📸 – @okdood

‘A Different Kind of Life’ moves and flows with a sense of purpose, echoing the lyrical optimism scattered amongst the acknowledgement that the world is intensely chaotic right now. The bass pulses energetically under washes of alluring synths. An emotive vocal line glides above in catchy and unique cadences, a touchstone of great Nation of Language songs. All of this adds up to a memorable track to put on repeat as you yearn for a less complicated past, try to embrace the uncertain present, and have hope for the future.