NATION of LANGUAGE – ” Introduction, Presence ” Best Albums Of 2020

Posted: June 3, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Now and then a debut comes along that feels more like a greatest hits collection. Introduction, Presence is a portrait of Nation Of Language’s first few years — singles trying out different iterations of a sound and attacking various ideas, but fully-formed even within that process of early discovery. Climactic moments abound: the twin “where is my life going” catharses of album bookends “Tournament” and “The Wall & I,” the digital wormhole of political screed “Indignities,” reclaimed awe in the city lights of “On Division St.” Eventually the vignettes form a whole story, tracing the listlessness and yearning of being not-quite-young-anymore in precarious times.

Brooklyn-based synth auteurs Nation of Language entered 2020 as one of the most heralded new acts of recent memory, having already earned high-praise from the likes of NME, FADER, Stereogum and countless others for their energetic anthems’ ability to blend the upbeat with a healthy dose of sardonic melancholy.  Inspired by the early new-wave and punk movements, the band quick earned a reputation for delivering frenzied nights of unconventional bliss to rapt audiences, establishing themselves in the process as bright young stars emerging from a crowded NYC landscape.

The small handful of offerings from the band that began circulating in recent years prompted unusually big reactions from the press for an unsigned and fully independent new artist, turning many a head in their direction. Stereogum labeled the band “Immediately Addicting” while the NME went on to describe Nation of Language as ‘An Absolute Blast’ and some of the ‘most exciting music coming out of New York’.
What a debut Introduction, Presence is! An album of the year contender for sure.

While many of their contemporaries are hellbent on 1980s homages, Nation of Language’s song writing influences recalls 2000s bands like Arcade Fire and The National just as much as ’80s golden era groups. You can hear Matt Berninger like tone and pacing on “Tournament,” James Murphy’s warmth and exhilaration on “Rush & Fever,” the zest and pomp of Cut Copy’s Dan Whitford on “Indignities” and Arcade Fire-sized elation on “The Wall & I.”

From the debut album Introduction Presence

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